Why and what successful businesses use out-of-city business hubs?

Why and what successful businesses use out-of-city business hubs?

In recent years, a noticeable trend has emerged among successful businesses – the establishment of out-of-city business hubs. Traditionally, corporate headquarters and offices were concentrated in bustling urban centres, but an increasing number of companies are now opting for locations outside these metropolitan areas.

This shift in strategy raises questions: What benefits do businesses derive from setting up business hubs away from the city centres? And which successful businesses have adopted this approach?

Benefits of out-of-city business hubs

Access to diverse talent pools

One of the primary motivations behind the adoption of out-of-city business hubs is access to diverse talent pools. While major cities may offer a vast array of skilled professionals, they also face stiff competition among businesses competing for the same talent. 

By establishing offices in smaller cities or suburban areas, companies can tap into talent that may be overlooked in the urban rat race. This diversification of talent not only brings fresh perspectives to the table but also fosters innovation within the organisation.

Cost savings and operational efficiency

Operating in major cities often comes with a price, from skyrocketing real estate prices to exorbitant living costs for employees. Out-of-city business hubs offer a more cost-effective alternative, allowing businesses to save significantly on overhead expenses. 

By relocating operations to areas with lower living and operating costs, companies can allocate resources more efficiently, invest in growth initiatives, and ultimately enhance their bottom line.

Improved quality of life for employees

The allure of urban life may be undeniable for some, but it often comes at the expense of quality of life. Long commutes, crowded living spaces, and high-stress levels are common realities for city dwellers. 

Out-of-city business hubs provide employees with an opportunity to enjoy a better work-life balance, with shorter commutes, access to nature, and a more relaxed pace of living. This improved quality of life not only boosts employee morale and productivity but also aids in talent retention and recruitment efforts.

Examples of successful businesses that have adopted this approach

Barclays Bank

Barclays Bank, one of the UK’s largest financial institutions, has established regional business hubs outside of major city centres. These hubs serve as operational centres for various functions, including customer service, technology, and administrative support. By decentralising its operations, Barclays aims to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and tap into regional talent pools.

Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover, a leading automotive manufacturer, has expanded its presence beyond urban areas by setting up engineering and design centres in suburban and rural locations. These out-of-city hubs allow the company to access specialised talent, particularly in fields such as automotive engineering and design, while also benefiting from lower operating costs compared to city-based facilities.


Aviva, one of the UK’s largest insurance companies, has embraced the out-of-city business hub model by establishing regional offices in smaller towns and cities across the country. These hubs serve as regional headquarters for various business functions, including sales, customer service, and claims processing. By decentralising its operations, Aviva aims to better serve customers across the UK while also contributing to local economic development.


HSBC, a global banking and financial services company headquartered in London, has adopted the out-of-city business hub approach by establishing regional offices in key economic hubs outside of the capital. These hubs serve as regional centres for banking operations, corporate services, and wealth management, catering to clients and customers across the UK. These out-of-city hubs aim to strengthen HSBC’s presence in regional markets while also diversifying its talent pool.

GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)

GSK, a multinational pharmaceutical company, has established research and development (R&D) out-of-city business hubs in various locations across the UK. These hubs focus on various drug discovery and development aspects, including biotechnology, chemistry, and clinical research. By locating R&D facilities outside of major cities, GSK can access specialised talent, collaborate with academic institutions, and leverage regional innovation ecosystems to drive drug discovery and development efforts.

Embracing the future of work

As the business landscape continues to evolve, the adoption of out-of-city business hubs represents a strategic move by companies to adapt to changing dynamics. From access to diverse talent pools to cost savings and improved quality of life for employees, the benefits of setting up offices outside major cities are clear. By embracing this trend, successful businesses position themselves for long-term success while contributing to the growth and development of local economies and communities.

Arena’s serviced offices are in 11 locations across the South including Basingstoke, Camberley, Fareham, Southampton and Winnersh Triangle. They are all located near convenient transport links, with the future of out-of-city hubs in mind. To find out more about how we can work together to create the perfect business hub for you, please visit 


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