Business Parking in London

London is a bustling and innovative city, with thriving business industry across the majority of sectors. Most London residents make use of the vast public transport system to avoid traffic and congested streets. However, there are many businesses located within London that require the use of vehicles to operate. Additionally, London is also the centre for a lot of business from across the UK, resulting in an increased number of business visitors entering the city, often by car. With an estimated 200,000 cars driving in London everyday, there is high competition for finding the most convenient parking space. If you rely on a vehicle for your business, or are travelling to London on business and planning to drive, below is some useful advice on how best to plan, locate and obtain parking where you need it.

Parking schemes and permits for business users.

The vast majority of London council boroughs offer business parking permits which are available to businesses, based in restricted parking zones, that require parking for the essential day to day running of their business. Obtaining a business parking permit allows parking within residential parking zones and ‘shared use’ bays which usually require pay and display tickets and each business can usually apply for 2 permits. Continue reading “Business Parking in London”

Survival Guide to Working in London During the Olympics

The first records of the Olympics date back to 776 BC. With some gaps in its historic every four-year calendar, due to world events and wars, now, in modern history, the Olympic games is arguably the biggest sporting event in the world with around 10,000 competitors from 204 countries and nations being involved in the games.

This year, London is the proud host of the Olympics 2012 with the opening ceremony due to start the proceedings on the 27th July at the newly constructed Olympic stadium in Stratford, East London. The whole event runs from 27th July – 12th August with events taking place across the city of London. Although the majority of these events will occur within the Olympic park in Stratford, the games are not only limited to this area. Some of the other 13 London venues include Earls Court, Hampton Court, Hyde Park, Wembley Stadium and Lords cricket ground. Continue reading “Survival Guide to Working in London During the Olympics”

Top Creative Companies in East London

East London, especially the Tech City and Shoreditch area is a major European hub for tech companies. Much of these tech companies are start-ups offering a variety of creative and innovative services. Tech City especially has a reputation for creativity. Entrepreneurs from all over the world reach out to this hub, seeking to leverage the facilities on offer, such as the presence of a vibrant community of entrepreneurs, financiers, creative artists and others, support services offered by Universities and government and more. Very few places in the world match such facilities.

Fast Growing Companies

Prominent start ups that have made it big in recent years include 7Digital, Eventbrite, INQ Mobile, Last.fm, Mendeley, Mind Candy, Moo Print, Playfish, SpliceTV, Spotify, Stylistpick, Ustwo, We7 and more. Continue reading “Top Creative Companies in East London”

Weird Place Names in London

Today, London is a dynamic global city and a cultural confluence, providing its lucky inhabitants with an exciting medley of places to see and things to do. With a history that stretches back well over 2,000 years, it is one of ye oldest cities on earth, and it has a varied and intriguing history spanning the reign of tyrannous kings, civil wars, the plague, and a constant cultural flux. All cities with such a history will sport plenty of peculiar place names that in today’s context might seem ridiculous, silly, or completely inappropriate. This article goes over some of the weirdest, funniest, and most inspiring place names that London has to offer.

The why behind the weird and the wonderful

In the London area, place names are usually named after landmarks and historical buildings, the trades and occupations that took place in a given area, the people who were vain enough to permanently imprint their contribution to the city, or after common London events, fairs and occasions. Continue reading “Weird Place Names in London”

Historic Tours of London

London is a busy and vibrant city with a colourful history.Whether you are interested in learning about the gruesome side of Victorian London or the history of the monarchy, or perhaps you just want an activity to encourage team building within a fun and relaxed atmosphere, there are many historic tours available that will appeal to people with different interests.

The Tower of London

The Yeoman warder tour (or beefeater as they are commonly known) is an entertaining and insightful tour of the Tower of London. A Yeoman warder will guide you through the history of the palace and the monarchy and provide information on the palace’s architecture, as well as grisly tales of the torturing of Guy Fawkes and the lives and deaths of Henry VIII and his wives. Continue reading “Historic Tours of London”

Charity Runs in London

Staying healthy has become a primary concern within society and many people are now using this interest to raise money and awareness for numerous charities. There are many charity runs in London, which are available to all demographics, allowing massive amounts of money to be raised for good causes. The charity runs vary in length, beneficiaries and, in some cases, entry requirements, such as fancy dress. Listed below are some of the main running events held in London, in which proceeds are used to benefit charities.

1. Virgin London Marathon

Perhaps the most popular and well publicised charity run held in London, possibly the world, the London Marathon started in 1981 and has grown exponentially since that date. With around 20,000 applicants in its first year, just short of 7,000 were chosen to run the race and not all of these finished. Since the first run, nearly 820,000 people have completed the marathon, with a staggering 36,550 people completing the race in 2010 alone. Due to the high level of entrants and sponsorship, around £500 million has been raised to benefit charities since 1981. Continue reading “Charity Runs in London”

Central London’s Most Exclusive Offices

If you are looking to locate your business in an exclusive area of London, then you will most definitely want to have a look at the Knightsbridge area, as this is one of the prime areas of London. London is an expensive place to relocate to any reason, including for your business needs but it is also the financial hub of the UK, so you will be making money back by being so close to all of the action in the business world.

There are few establishments that can compete with what the offices at 64 Knightsbridge have to offer. These amazing office spaces are located close to the green spaces of Hyde Park. The offices at 64 Knightsbridge have a beautiful old front to their building, adding to the appeal to the building, with a very modern feel to the interior. The building has a beautiful classical façade with a business centre that has modern artworks and the latest up to date business technology. The well equipped office spaces are of a very high standard, with meeting rooms, conference rooms and a large boardroom, everything that you will need to run your business to the high standard that is expected in this business capital.

These office spaces are also fully serviced, with all the supporting technology that you could possible want located onsite, including catering and also partner privileges at the five star Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel.

This exclusive centre is the perfect location for your business to be situated, as with such a prestigious location, it will be easy to impress potential and existing clients with the beautiful surroundings. You could take them for a walk through Hyde Park, to any of the fine dining establishments nearby or to the world famous Harrods store.

Notting Hill is also a very sought after location for the higher end of office location, which was of course made popular by the film of the same name. Ledbury Mews North is situated in the W11 area of London, close to Ledbury Road and Westbourne Grove. This office space is a beautiful example of a traditional mews and is in a nice and quiet location, being situated on a no through road which also has restricted parking, which also allows for easy loading and allows for temporary parking.

Regents Street in Mayfair is also one of the most desirable places to have you business located. There are offices available here to rent which have been recently renovated to the expected very high standard. The modern and highly equipped offices are situated in magnificent Grade 2 listed buildings. Rent available on these highly sought after offices can be paid for between 3 months and 5 years.

Additional information on commercial property, real estate, setting up your first office and renting versus buying office space.

Photography Sightseeing Tours in London

As one of the world’s most photographed and photogenic cities, London, in addition to its many famous visual delights, offers amateur photographers of all levels something else. Keen photographers, however experienced or inexperienced, can choose from the many available photographic sightseeing tours run by local experts. Joining one of these friendly and informal tours can be a very worthwhile thing to do. Not only will they get you to those famous locations without getting you lost, but will also give advice on how best to photograph any subject that catches your eye.

If you’re in, or are going to, London, and have any interest in improving your photography skills and taking real photos of the city that you can be proud of, there are plenty of tours to choose from, including:

London Photo Tours and Workshops

With a name like that, there’s no mistaking what this company offers. In fact, they offer a very diverse listing of tours, such as:

1. South Bank Photography Tour.
The South Bank is a cultural hot spot of London, It’s an ideal location for photographers, not only for its proximity to some interesting buildings, but also for its great views of the River Thames, all the way eastwards to St Paul’s Cathedral. This tour focuses (no pun intended) on technical matters such as exposure settings, panning and composition. The locale offers a wide variety of subject matter, from striking architecture to colourful street entertainers, to the fascinatingly varied river traffic making its way up and down the Thames. (londonphototours.co.uk) Continue reading “Photography Sightseeing Tours in London”

The City of London’s Financial Giants

The City, London’s financial district, is been home to some of the worlds most prominent financial, trading, insurance, legal and religious institutions and is a part of London that, apart from the architecture, has remained almost intact since the Romans settled in 47 A.D. The Square Mile – which actually measures 1.12 square miles, has a modest resident population of around eleven thousand, although its transient working population swells to well over 330,000 every day.

The overall Gross Value Added (GVA) for London represents around 45% of the overall sector at some £52 billion and the sector as a whole contributed tax revenues of £53.4bn.
Of the total employed in the City, 42% or 135,000 are employed in the financial sector (from cityoflondon.gov.uk 2009).

Classed as one of three key financial centres around the world, London plays host to many of the leading banks as well as the Stock Exchange and whilst The City is home to some, the influential banking and financial institutions have also spread into the Canary Wharf area. Only four of the top five UK banks are based in the City the other is in Edinburgh (RBS).

The top four London banks are: HSBC (Canary Wharf), Lloyds (City), Barclays (Canary Wharf) and Standard Chartered (City). Between them these four have market values of ~£240 bn. and assets of ~£5,500 bn.

Their employment numbers are substantial, however it is difficult to obtain exact numbers of how many are employed specifically within the 135,000 in the City of London. For that reason we look at the whole of the UK; HSBC alone has 85,000 employees in the UK, spread around its major brank and city centre network. Lloyds, in which the British Government holds a minority stake, indicates that it employs in excess of 104,000 (2010 figures). Barclays employs 146,000 (as at 2011) and Standard Chartered, 84,000.

Looking at Operating Income and stated gross margins for 2010, each is a substantial business:
HSBC – £12 bn. profit £8.3 bn.
Lloyds – £281 m, (£258 m)
Barclays – £3 bn. (profit not stated)
Standard Chartered – £3.85 bn. (profit not stated)

What is clear is that the banking sector within the UK, let alone the world has gone through an upheaval that is unprecedented and it may take some time to settle into a stable sector again. The British Government is under increasing pressure to return Lloyds to the private sector once more and is looking at many options including the restructuring of the bank into two separate – corporate and personal banking streams. Given their relative financial strength, HSBC, Barclays and Standard Chartered have demonstrated their ability to weather the financial maelstrom despite calls within Government to review and deconstruct the so called bonus culture.

Alongside the major banks, the city is home to the main regulatory body of The Bank of England, an institution to whom the key players look for guidance. It sets the level of interest (Bank Base Rate), currently at 0.5% (for a record three-years), and manages and monitors inflation by intervention in specific sectors as and when required. It is also responsible for the total amount of money flowing through the UK economy and regularly reviews this.

Lloyds, the insurance house, is also established in The City, and home to around fifty of the world’s largest insurance businesses with access to assets in excess of £40,000 bn. to support its infrastructure of risk underwriting and provides cover for every sector of business around the Globe. In excess of 20% of its revenue is derived in the UK.

Finally, the London Stock Exchange – often abbreviated to LSE, is one of the half dozen trading platforms around the world that are seen as the metre by which investors judge the health of commerce. It hosts a number of UK based indices – e.g. the FTSE 100, whereby the value of a business is posted daily in terms of its share price and capitalisation. In sheer scale, the level of activity is huge and in 2010 its market capitalisation was claimed to be £2.27 trillion spread across some 3,000 individual business listings.

The History of the London Wall Buildings

The London Wall is a defensive wall built by the Romans in the 2nd or 3rd century from Kentish stone; it formed the foundations for the later City Wall which historically defined the boundaries of the city. The wall protected the city from invasion and contained the Great Fire of London. It underwent some demolition during the 18th and 19th century and many parts were destroyed in the bombings during the Second World War. Today, part of the route of the wall is followed by the road named London Wall, from Aldersgate and east to Bishopsgate.

The remaining sections of the wall have been protected in gardens and museums or incorporated into the construction of modern buildings. The largest and best preserved section of the London Wall stands at Tower Hill, just north of the Tower of London at nearly 11m tall. During the 17th Century, other buildings were put up either side and parts were destroyed during construction. In the 1930s, the buildings which obscured this section of the wall were cleared away and it is currently preserved by English Heritage. It can be easily reached by train as it is situated opposite Tower Hill Station.

At Tower Hill Station itself there is a section of The London Wall preserved in a green space beneath the underpass, encircled by walkways for commuters to view. When the station was built, the site was excavated and on discovering the fragmented remains of the wall, construction was redesigned around it. From Tower Hill station, north along Coopers Row sits the Grange City Hotel one of whose courtyard walls incorporates a section of the Roman wall with medieval additions. Continue reading “The History of the London Wall Buildings”