Finding Business Space in South and Vale

One of the four priorities raised in the Business and Innovation Strategy Action Plan 2017 to 2020 (BIS) concerns addressing the lack of available, good quality, affordable business space.

Find out more below about how the Council’s Economic Development team can help your business find suitable premises to start, grow or consolidate.
Business Space is a priority for both South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils

Help finding suitable business space

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse are home to a wide range of business parks that cater for a variety of business needs, as well as retail units in and out of town.

However, even though there are a diverse range of properties available, from co working and serviced office space  right through to high spec, modern offices suitable for larger businesses (as of May 2019), the Economic Development team understand that searching for suitable property can be time consuming and frustrating for many business owners. 

How we can help

It can be difficult to get an overview of the local commercial property market, find out about the benefits of potential locations or to understand the implications of planning and business rates issues.

Through our ongoing work with a variety of partners, the Economic Development team is uniquely placed to offer advice on the following issues and help businesses to cut down on the difficulties involved with finding premises: 

  • understanding business rates and relief schemes
  • planning requirements and change of use permission
  • opportunities on new developments
  • identification of property / land ownership
  • locations that work for your business 
  • support available for your business

How we work

The Economic Development Team maintain relationships with property developers, commercial agents and landlords to help ensure a good variety of flexible business space is available and signposted accurately online. 

The team also maintain a property needs register, helping to build a picture of the type and scale of properties required in the area. We communicate this through a commercial property mailing list, enabling direct communication with relevant parties across the districts. 

Additionally we work with internal partners, including our rates, planning and policy teams to ensure businesses can understand and access relevant information. 

Example Case Study: Space Store

Space Store is a Harwell based startup experiential retail store bringing Space to the general public

In 2018/19 the Economic Development team worked to accelerate Space Store’s progression to a permanent location.

Initially this included advice on planning for temporary locations before an introduction to our team at Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot help the business organise a hugely successful pop-up event over the Easter break.

This was followed by an introduction to our contact at Hammerson – the developer responsible for Didcot’s Orchard Centre to look at the possibility of a retail unit at the site.

From here, the Economic Development team was able to advise on a diverse range of issues, including change of use planning permission, environmental health requirements and business rates. Our skills specialist also helped Space Store with their plans for schools outreach, introducing the team to local careers leads and education contacts. 

Next steps for help

If you need assistance with your commercial property search please get in touch via:

You can find links for useful property search engines on our Business Space page.