Extending eastwards from the City of London along key transport routes, the London-Essex UK Finance Corridor is an intrinsic extension of London’s world-leading Financial and Professional Services cluster.

The Corridor includes the main Essex financial and professional services centres of Brentwood, Chelmsford, Colchester, Basildon and Southend-on-Sea.

Fast, direct access to London and the City provides Essex-based companies with an advantage that competitor out-of-London UK locations simply cannot match. This combines with a large-scale, skilled workforce and massive cost advantages to create a compelling location proposition for businesses.

The companies located within the London-Essex UK Finance Corridor specialise across a range of business areas and functions including . . .

  • Back office and business process outsourcing
    Businesses in sub-sectors including banking, insurance and business process outsourcing (BPO), with operations including shared service and contact centres, benefit from a unique combination of fast access to London and a low cost base.
  • Financial data centre operations
    Business benefit from high-speed data connectivity to London combined with low-cost, large-floorplate properties and an affordable, highly skilled IT workforce.
  • Niche financial services businesses
    Businesses in sub-sectors including Wealth Management and Financial Technology benefit from highly desirable ‘out-of-city’ locations combining exclusivity, high concentrations of financial expertise and excellent connectivity – to the City of London and global markets.
  • Professional services
    Essex is the location of choice for a diverse range of professional services companies in sub-sectors including accounting and legal services. Many of these business serve, or have links to, the financial services sector in the London area.

London Essex UK Finance Corridor - Business Benefits (1.4 MB)

Connectivity to London & Worldwide

Amongst reduced-cost UK financial and professional services locations, Essex delivers unrivalled transport and data connectivity to London and worldwide . . .

  • Just 30 minutes by train to the City of London from Essex centres (e.g. Brentwood, Chelmsford and Basildon)
  • Direct Crossrail connections to London Heathrow airport in just 1.12 hours (from May 2017)
  • Prestigious ‘out-of-city’ business locations offering direct access to the M25 London orbital motorway
  • London Stansted Airport – in Essex and just 30 minutes’ drive time from Chelmsford. The UK’s 4th busiest airport, serving 150 destinations
  • Comprehensive global connectivity – 6 London airports within 1.15 hours drive time, including London Heathrow with flights to 185 destinations in 84 countries
  • Fast data connectivity to London, facilitating high-speed trading
  • UK top-ranked broadband internet coverage (Ofcom rank: 1)

A Large-Scale Skilled Workforce

Businesses locating in Essex can access the UK’s largest and most highly skilled financial and professional services workforce, combined with education provision targeted at the sector’s specific needs . . .

  • 103,000 Financial and Business Services workers in Essex
  • 680,000 accessible workers in London’s Finance Cluster
  • 142,000 Essex-based London commuters, with the potential to work in Essex
  • More ‘administrative and secretarial’ workers (as a % of the overall workforce) than any major English city.
  • A broad range of post-graduate study options at Essex Business School including specialist Masters courses in accounting, banking and finance, and management, entrepreneurship and marketing, as well as the Essex MBA
  • Specialist MSc courses at the University of Essex’s Centre for Computational Finance and Economic Agents (CCFEA) including computational finance, algorithmic trading and financial computing

Major Cost Saving Opportunities

Essex compares very favourably against other financial and business services locations across the UK and Western Europe with labour costs up to 50% lower and office costs up to 85% lower. This offers not only short-term gains, but real potential for significant long-term operational cost savings.

High Quality Business Accommodation

Essex compares very favourably against other financial and business services locations across the UK and Western Europe with labour costs up to 50% lower and office costs up to 85% lower. This offers not only short-term gains, but real potential for significant long-term operational cost savings.

Man signing paperwork

Low Business Costs

In addition to the county’s value-adding benefits, Essex provides financial and professional services companies with massive cost saving versus London and other competitor UK locations . . .

  • Office rental cost savings of -74% versus the City of London and -26% versus major UK (core) cities (Colliers, 2015)
  • Indicative cost savings of £4.96 million per year for a 100,000 sq ft prime office facility versus the City of London (Colliers, 2015)
  • Stable office rental costs, compared with +12.5% year-on-year price increases in the City of London (Colliers, 2015)
  • Wage cost savings of -48% versus the City of London and -5% versus major UK regional (core) cities (average of) (ONS, 2015)
  • Wage cost savings of -17% for ‘IT Finance’ positions versus ‘London and the M4 Corridor’

Research & Technology

The University of Essex is a leader in the application of Big Data Analytics and advanced computing to the finance sector, enabling businesses locating in Essex to access world-class knowledge and research.

The University of Essex is home to . . .

  • The Centre for Computational Finance and Economic Agents (CCFEA)
  • The Institute for Analytics and Data Science (IADS, research strengths including data analytics for the finance sector)
  • The UK Data Archive and the UK Data Service (key partner)

The University of Essex achieves high rankings versus UK and international competitor universities . . .

  • world top 2% ranked university (Times Higher Education)
  • UK top 20 university for research excellence (REF 2014)

Industrial Strategy

See here for Essex County Council’s response to the Government’s Industrial Strategy…


Industrial Strategy (5.97 MB)


Corinne Hearne

+44 (0) 7702 900667

With over 25 years’ experience in the Financial Services and Global Relocation industries, Corinne has developed an extensive, specialist, commercial network and has successfully supported projects focused on the strategic development and growth of both overseas and UK companies in business, professional and financial services sectors.