The London-Essex UK Finance Corridor, extending eastwards from the City of London, is an essential extension of London’s world-leading Professional and Financial Services Sector cluster.

The London-Essex UK Finance Corridor includes the main Essex Professional and Financial Services centres of Brentwood, Chelmsford, Colchester, Basildon and Southend-on-Sea.

Fast and direct access to London provides Essex-based companies with an advantage that out-of-London locations simply cannot match. Combined with a large-scale, skilled workforce and massive cost advantages, Essex is a compelling location for businesses across the sector.

Companies located within the professional and financial services sector 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 businesses serve, or have links to, the financial services sector in the London area.

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

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 provisions targeted at the sector’s specific needs. Essex has:

  • 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
  • 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
analysing financial data

Low business costs in Essex

Essex compares very favourably against other professional and financial services locations across the UK and Western Europe with labour costs up to 50% lower and office costs up to 85% lower. Essex offers short-term gains as well as real potential for significant long-term operational cost savings.

  • Office rental cost savings of -74% vs the City of London and office rental cost savings of -26% vs major UK (core) cities (Colliers, 2015)
  • Indicative cost savings of £4.96 million per year for a 100,000 sq ft prime office facility vs 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% vs the City of London and wage cost savings of -5% vs major UK regional (core) cities (ONS, 2015)
  • Wage cost savings of -17% for IT Finance positions vs ‘London and the M4 Corridor’

Industrial Strategy (5.97 MB)

Research and 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)

Read more about the University of Essex here

University of Essex Ivor Crewe lecture

Connect to London & worldwide

Amongst reduced-cost locations for the Professional and Financial Services sector, 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)


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.