BASINGSTOKE is the place to be, according to the leader of the council as three new firms sign a deal to move to the town’s business park.

The Gazette can reveal Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council is currently in talks with a number of London-based and international companies in a bid to woo them to the town.

The council-owned Basing View, a 65-acre business park, is home to American pharmaceutical company Eli Lily as well as the AA and housing association Sovereign.

Now the authority hopes more firms will relocate there to bring more jobs to the area.

Council leader Ken Rhatigan told The Gazette he was limited as to what he could say, saying: “What I can say is we are engaging with businesses that could bring hundreds of jobs to Basingstoke.”

Cllr Rhatigan said: “We have an awful lot to offer London-based businesses here. We have a really educated workforce that can fit and adapt, plus good accommodation and housing and we are five minutes from the countryside.”

He said: “We have had quite a bit of interest, until we put pen to paper I can limited to what I can say but I can say we are engaging with businesses that could bring hundreds of jobs to Basingstoke.”

The leader added: “I can also confirm we have been stretching out to Hong Kong businesses who might want to relocate. We have an available workforce here and a great dynamic with the rest of the world.”

Speaking more broadly about the council’s pitch to Londoners and city-based firms, he said: “We have adaptable offices and for their workers we have great houses here that are a fraction of the price in London. You can get all the benefits of country living but with the benefit of a good job that will pay them well. We also have good schools in both the state and private system.”

The cost of office rent in London is the highest in Europe, with average rents of £112.50 per square foot. To contrast, Basingstoke has offices available from £20.31 per square foot. While the average cost of a home in London is £475,000 contrasting to £339,547 in Basingstoke. Renters pay £1,571 a month in London on average to Basingstoke’s £991.

Cllr Rhatigan added: “There is an ongoing dialogue with businesses. As we get to reveal some of the other businesses who are looking to move here, we will be providing more good news and more jobs to replace some of the jobs that have been lost during the pandemic”

The council has heralded Basing View as an "ideal location" for business after three new companies agreed lettings to move into the redeveloped area.

Marketing agency Purple, training company Basingstoke ITEC and communications firm This is Us have all agreed leases at office blocks in Basing View recently.

It comes after the council handed over the keys for a flagship headquarters for pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly in March, whilst the Village Hotel opened in February 2020.

Businesses in the enterprise zone at Basing View are eligible for a discount in business rates, with the council working to regenerate the area.

The authority's cabinet member for economic development Cllr Hannah Golding said: “As companies start to plan their return to the workplace, Basing View is poised to meet changing office requirements.

"From London-based businesses seeking satellite offices to companies wanting statement standalone buildings, self-contained floors or affordable serviced and flexible space – we have something to suit everyone.

“Basing View is a great place to do business and these new lettings – and the significant external investment planned or under way at Renaissance, Grosvenor House and Southern Cross – all underline Basingstoke’s strength as a strategic and well-connected location.

"Purple has been working in Basingstoke since 2008 and we’re delighted that their 130 UK team members will continue to be based here.”

The international marketing agency Purple has taken 10,400 sq. ft at Eni House, a landmark building in Basingstoke’s town centre business park.

Purple, which specialise in healthcare, business and consumer-focused communications, were attracted by the ‘plug and play’ opportunities at Eni House. They can now make use of the fully-fitted and furnished office and enjoy access to the landlord’s facilities and IT support services and on-site restaurant.

The fourth floor space has been let on a five-year lease and will serve as the site of their new international headquarters following their move from Lilly House in Basingstoke.

Other new lettings at Basing View include Basingstoke ITEC, which has moved to the DeskLodge co-working facility and new creative medical communications agency, This is Us, which has taken space at Belvedere House.