Could this be the UK’s Best Location for High-Technology Businesses?

High-technology credentials, a strategic UK location and big property cost savings add up to a compelling location proposition for leading-edge businesses…

Kao Park Harlow - Quality and cost advantages for high-technology businesses…

Imagine a business location that’s at the heart of one of the UK’s foremost technology clusters – home to some of the biggest names in advanced electronics and medical instruments manufacturing. Now imagine that it’s strategically located between London – Europe’s business capital - and Cambridge – Europe’s preeminent technology hub – each accessible by motorway in less than 1 hour [1]. Sounds attractive doesn’t it? Then imagine that it provides businesses with massive property cost savings versus both London and Cambridge, and significant savings versus alternative UK tech locations. Now it’s starting to sound really attractive…

That’s what these global high-technology companies thought…

In September 2015, two global advanced electronics businesses unveiled major expansion projects in the UK. Raytheon, the US technology and innovation business, announced that it would consolidate its entire UK R&D operation in one location, investing £25 million in a Technical Centre of Excellence. Arrow Electronics, a global provider of electronic components and enterprise computing solutions, announced a new facility and a doubling of its footprint at its established UK site.

The location in question was Kao Park, at Harlow Enterprise Zone, Essex.

Combining ‘quality’ and ‘cost’ advantages for high-technology businesses…

And it’s easy to understand why. Because Essex is providing high-tech businesses like these with a combination of ‘quality’ and ‘cost’ advantages that alternative locations can’t match. Companies locating at Harlow Enterprise Zone can access the technology labour forces of both London and Cambridge, in addition to a substantial local skills base. The Kao Park development offers a state-of-the-art Science and Technology Business Campus and Data Centre, developed with the specific needs of advanced electronics, medical technology, ICT and life science companies in mind. And it combines these benefits with ‘Enterprise Zone’ incentives including simplified planning, business rate discounts and superfast broadband.

And that’s before we even consider the property cost savings…

The advantages of technology clusters usually come at a high price for businesses. But in Essex, they’re combined with big savings on property costs compared with the ‘hub’ locations of London and Cambridge. According to the latest data from Colliers [2], Essex is currently providing businesses with 44% rental cost savings versus Cambridge and 54% savings versus London.

That translates into the type of financial saving that can make a significant impact on a company’s bottom line:

HT1 Office Rents

High-technology businesses recognise the advantages of technology clusters, and of fast access to business and tech hubs like London and Cambridge. They also know that minimising costs is essential in highly competitive markets. Essex, UK, is providing them with the very best of both worlds.


Contact INVEST Essex to find out more about the Cambridge-Essex UK High-Technology Cluster.


[1] Google Maps, 2015
[2] Colliers, 2015: Comparison of prime office costs. Averages of all surveyed Essex, Cambridge & London locations.

Simon Papworth
Simon Papworth

Inward Investment Manager (High-Technology Cluster)

+44 (0) 7515 199255


Simon has worked in inward investment for the last four years, building a wide network of trusted business connections, working on a variety of successful projects in the advanced manufacturing sector. Prior to this, Simon spent 7 years advising business owners and entrepreneurs, with a focus on bringing innovative products to market.