A BUSINESS space firm says there as been a surge of interest from firms looking to relocate locally from city centre bases.

Bosses at Barcroft Street based flex-space specialists BusinessLodge report that, in the wake of the pandemic, several firms are rethinking their business models.

And a potential new home is at the time of a number of boardroom agendas.

Kate Holt, the firm's managing director, said: "In the early days of the coronavirus crisis, we saw a surge in budding entrepreneurs setting up their own businesses and taking advantage of our Virtual Office facilities.

“More recently, we’ve had lots of interest from larger businesses who are based in city centres and are now looking to relocate closer to home, in centres like BusinessLodge.”

Kate believes there are several factors that play a key role in businesses choosing to step away from city centre office blocks and relocate more locally – with travel being top of the list.

She has observed that many businesses traditionally choose offices which are based on their proximity to train stations and airports with public transport deemed a practical, economical and environmentally friendly way to travel.

Kate added: "Post-lockdown, public transport is no longer as appealing as it once was.

"We’ve all seen the images of packed buses and trains, where compulsory face coverings are now the norm – and quite understandably, people are reluctant to take this option unless it is absolutely avoidable.

“While driving remains an option, city centre parking can be upwards of £25 a day for those who want to use their car – which can amount to a whopping £2,500 a year.”

Another key factor in the shift towards local offices is the reduction in commuting time, she says.

And by basing the business closer to where employees live, travel times are cut, freeing up several hours a week that people can use more effectively, from spending time with family and friends to working out in on-site gyms. The research shows that this results in a happier, more productive workforce.

In addition, keeping local affords more opportunities to walk and cycle to work, healthier for both people and the environment.

She also said: "Times are uncertain, there is no doubt about that. Yet many businesses who are currently based in the city centre who are considering a move have their hands tied. This can be particularly difficult for organisations who have been forced to downsize their workforce over recent months.

“There is also the uncertainty of a relocation at this time and so a more flexible tenancy agreement can be extremely useful."

The company offers four buildings within its central Bury location.