TWO major office developments with a combined cost of £430 million are nearing completion.

Property developers U+I have offered a look inside two of Brighton’s largest ever regeneration projects - the £130m Circus Street and £300m Preston Barracks, which is home to Plus X.

Circus Street offers 30,000 sq. ft of office space across six main floors, while Plus X is a seven-storey innovation hub with state-of-the-art workspace for start-ups and large corporates.

As well as office space, Circus Street, part of a public private partnership with Brighton and Hove City Council, has 142 new homes, 450 student bedrooms, seven retail units and a new base for South East Dance.

The project is due to be complete in the next 12 months.

According to a new survey, Brighton has emerged as a key beneficiary of the UK’s post-pandemic future as London businesses consider relocating to satellite offices.

In the survey of 250 senior decision makers in large central London businesses, 82 per cent said Covid-19 is likely to lead to businesses creating a form of hub outside of the city – with Brighton emerging as the preferred destination.

Respondents cited a strong talent pool, quality of life, inclusivity and diversity, good transport links, proximity to London and lower cost of living as their primary reasons.

Also on the list was Guildford, Maidstone, Chelmsford, Cambridge and Oxford among others.

The Argus: First look inside two new Brighton office developments - Circus Street and Preston Barracks, which is home to Plus X First look inside two new Brighton office developments - Circus Street and Preston Barracks, which is home to Plus X

Richard Upton, chief executive officer of, U+I, said while happy with their two projects, Brighton runs the risk of running out of office space.

“We’ve long believed in the potential of Brighton, as evidenced in our commitment to the Circus Street and Preston Barracks developments,” he said.

“It was the strength of the city’s enterprise culture that saw us choose Brighton as home to our first Plus X innovation hub. The only thing that can hold Brighton back now is a lack of supply contemporary office space.”

Despite earning the name “Silicon Beach” due to the number of start-ups in the city, Brighton’s potential boom could be thwarted by a lack of high-quality office space.

A survey of 250 senior decision makers in Brighton-based businesses found that nearly a third (32 per cent) say there is a lack of quality office space in the city.

A quarter (24 per cent) said shortage of supply was leading to an increase in office rents.

Mr Upton said while nobody knows what a post-pandemic world looks like, business leaders are already thinking hard about flexible working, greater agency to employees, improving productivity and work life balance.

“Like all employers, we’re doing the same, and are exploring options for the future of our own central London based office,” he said.

“It comes as no surprise to us that Brighton is identified as the number one location for businesses to open an alternative office outside of central London.”

Mat Hunter, co-founder of Plus X, said Brighton is an “outstanding location” to start and build a business and has an opportunity for further growth.

“For too long the city has been considered by some as a lifestyle commuter hub to serve central London, but it is so much more than that, as the incredible array of entrepreneurs and SME talent in Plus X demonstrates,” he said.

“The future of the city is undoubtedly bright.”

Sarah Springford, CEO, Brighton Chamber, said: “Brighton ticks so many boxes when it comes to running a business or setting up a satellite office.

“As well as being well known for its entrepreneurial and creative business community, the city is brimming with innovation and talent thanks to its two great universities.

“It’s fantastic to have new workspaces like Circus Street and Plus X and offering workspace to companies at every stage of their journey, from start-ups to established corporate organisations.”

Leader of the council Phélim Mac Cafferty added: “With more people working locally instead of commuting, a better work life balance can be struck, travel and its associated pollution is reduced, as new workspaces help keep talent in the city.

"The city will also benefit from more, high quality jobs – with workspaces enabling our continued and well-deserved reputation as a place where start-up businesses thrive.

"We are celebrating this as a powerful opportunity to help the city punch above its weight as we recover from the pandemic. And we will continue to encourage businesses to choose the city for their satellite offices – and as a location where talent can be harnessed and new jobs and opportunities created.”