Leith waterfront set for 60-unit flexible office hub

A flexible workspace provider is launching a 60-office site in Leith to capitalise on the area’s burgeoning community of creative and technology-led companies.

An artists image of Clockwise Commercial Quay in Leith, due to launch in spring. Picture: Contributed
An artists image of Clockwise Commercial Quay in Leith, due to launch in spring. Picture: Contributed

Clockwise Office is converting a former bonded warehouse at Leith’s waterfront into a 25,000-square foot serviced office and hotdesking location.

The company, which operates across the UK, said its investment in the area was fuelled by its status as a tech and creative hub, with the Edinburgh port district boasting the highest volume of internet-related businesses in Scotland.

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Tech unicorn Skyscanner has its roots in Leith while investor and incubator Seed Haus and entrepreneurial networking group FutureX are among the tech-led ventures currently based in the area.

Clockwise has already secured a pre-lease with tech firm Orders Made Simple at Clockwise Commercial Quay. Picture: Contributed

Clockwise has already secured a number of pre-leases for the site, to be known as Clockwise Commercial Quay, including tech firm Orders Made Simple, whose mobile app and management tool helps restaurants and food service operators place orders efficiently with suppliers.

Orchestral sample library developer Spitfire Audio, which has collaborated with Hans Zimmer and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and digitised car rental firm Nuvven have also signed up for space at the building.

Edinburgh-based architect Morgan McDonnell is leading the design and delivery of the development.

Building on success

Lesley Anne Jeffrey, regional manager at Clockwise, said: “We have a strong focus on delivering workspaces in vibrant areas that not only have a burgeoning business environment but a strong community that people want to live and work in, and Leith is just that.

“The area has long been on the rise both as a go-to for ambitious business, and creative and tech talent, and also as a neighbourhood with its own identity and spirit.”

Jeffrey pointed to existing workspaces in UK cities including Glasgow and Belfast which have a 96 per cent average retention rate. She added: “We certainly expect to build on that success here.”

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The site will be close to the Edinburgh to Newhaven tram extension, which is earmarked for completion in 2023.

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Clockwise Commercial Quay will offer a mix of club lounge workspaces, co-working desks and private offices, which it claims is designed to attract a “diverse and exciting” range of businesses.

Stephen Scurr, founder and chief executive of Orders Made Simple, said: “As a fast-growing tech business we needed a flexible space that could cater for our continued development, at the same time as being a fun and dynamic environment for our team.

“This is what Clockwise is delivering in the heart of the area and we can’t wait to move into the space and get involved in what will no doubt be a great community.”

Edinburgh was recently placed seventh in the UK in PwC’s Good Growth for Cities report 2019.

Liz McAreavey, chief executive of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said: “This welcome development highlights the important role of Leith as a hub supporting the growth of the creative and tech businesses in Edinburgh, providing much needed space for our exciting start-ups.”