M42 and Solihull office market research — Q2 2023

At 40,913 sq ft, it was the best Q2 for the Solihull office market since 2019, although this brings the first half of the year to just 65,213 sq ft. 

Nevertheless, the large, high quality office stock now on stream and lease events ahead should deliver healthier quarters going forward for the Solihull office market.

So far in 2023, the majority of deals in the Solihull office market have been below 5,000 sq ft, meaning activity is strong, but totals are modest. A primary reason for this, has been lack of availability. However, nearly 230,000 sq ft of high quality refurbished office space has now come to market and this should stimulate larger occupiers.

Meanwhile, the erosion of smaller offices, below 3,500 sq ft, perhaps gives landlords a chance to refurb and reposition their vacant buildings to deliver high quality suites.

Q2 2023 stats

4 0 , 9 1 3

total take-up (sq ft)

1 5 , 8 9 6

largest transaction (sq ft)

1 0

total transactions

Solihull office market at a glance

  • Key transactions – we look at the largest deals this quarter
  • Holman heads up Q2 – Fleet management specialist takes space to support BT
  • Inward investment – businesses continue to flock to the M42 corridor
  • Junction 6 sees six – six (60%) of the deals were focused at J6, whilst J4 is silent
  • Relocation, downsizing and opportunity – changes in requirements are good news
  • More lease events ahead – 2024 could be a strong year for exercising lease ends and breaks
  • Lots of larger space coming back – great options for larger occupiers, and more to come
  • Outlook – we identify the opportunities for landlords to address occupier needs

Key Solihull office market transactions

Office buildingSize (sq ft)OccupierBusiness sector
4020 Lakeside15,896HolmanFleet management
Wingfield Court6,938Avant HomesHousebuilder
2 Ravens Court4,757Fizz GroupEducation supplies
5 The Courtyard4,500MontvieuxIT
Total31,09176% of take-up4 transactions

Holman heads up Q2 

The largest letting was to fleet management specialist, Holman, which took 15,896 sq ft at 4020 Lakeside, situated on Birmingham Business Park. Traditionally a prime location for large lettings in Birmingham’s out-of-town office market, deals of this size are now increasingly rare – as stock on the Park has been hungrily snapped up over recent years bringing it to just 3% vacancy.

4020 Lakeside, Birmingham Business Park - KWB Solihull office market research Q2 2023
4020 Lakeside, Birmingham Business Park

The transaction represents inward investment, with Holman being new to the area. Holman recently signed a seven-year deal with BT and the contract is understood to have been one of the largest of its kind in history, involving 37,000 commercial vehicles. BT has an extensive history at the Park and these new offices will undoubtedly play a vital role in helping to deliver on the telecoms giant’s requirements.

Inward investment

It wasn’t just Holman moving into the area. There were several inward investment deals this quarter, signifying the continued commercial confidence in, and appeal of, Solihull and the M42 corridor.

In the second largest letting of the quarter, Avant Homes took 6,938 sq ft at Wingfield Court in Coleshill. Whilst not true inward investment, the housebuilder is fairly new to this area, having previously been in Regus serviced offices. It’s excellent to see Avant now relocate into traditional space as it further establishes itself here.

Wingfield Court, Coleshill - KWB Solihull office market research Q2 2023
Wingfield Court, Coleshill

New to Bromsgrove, server specialist, Montvieux took the fourth largest letting in Q2, securing 4,500 sq ft at 5 The Courtyard.

Junction 6 sees six 

This quarter saw the office transactions take place in a select few locations – Junction 6 of the M42, Redditch and Bromsgrove, and a single letting in Solihull town centre.

Junction 6 secured six of the deals, with four taking place at Birmingham Business Park. In total, the deals at Junction 6 represented 70% of take-up – 28,442 sq ft.

Office buildingSize (sq ft)OccupierLocation
4020 Lakeside15,896HolmanBirmingham Business Park
Wingfield Court6,938Avant HomesColeshill
6170 Knights Court1,874Mix TelematicsBirmingham Business Park
2625 Kings Court1,578Combat StressBirmingham Business Park
6110 Knights Court1,328Goodrich ConsultingBirmingham Business Park
De Montfort House828HolbornColeshill
Aerial of Birmingham Business Park - KWB Solihull office market research Q2 2023
Birmingham Business Park

Aside from the deals at Birmingham Business Park, there were two J6 lettings at Coleshill. This has been an increasingly popular part of Birmingham’s out-of-town office market over recent years. Coleshill provides a more cost-effective alternative to other key locations where the combination of high demand and low supply have pushed up rents.

Junction 4 of the M42, home to the likes of Blythe Valley Business Park, has seen many large lettings over recent years but was silent this quarter.

Bromsgrove and Redditch, which have often been quietened by lack of available high quality office stock, have secured deals for a consecutive quarter – three of the top five to be exact.

Office buildingSize (sq ft)OccupierLocation
2 Ravens Court4,757Fizz GroupRedditch
5 The Courtyard4,500MontvieuxBromsgrove
The Croft1,876FJBromsgrove

Relocation, downsizing and opportunity

Following the pandemic, many occupiers have been reviewing their office arrangements to match an evolution of their working practices. Some of those who had worked from home during the pandemic now take a hybrid approach and this has altered the amount of space they need.

We’re seeing a number of occupiers with larger space look to downsize. Whilst expansions are good news, downsizing is by no means a negative sign – when you consider other factors. Occupiers adopting a hybrid approach and reducing their office stake are often also upgrading their space. This demonstrates continued confidence in the area. Additionally, in a market where availability has been low and movement has been restricted, relocation and downsizing create new opportunities for landlords to refurbish office space and deliver new options for other occupiers to move.

More lease events ahead

Most businesses would only be able to change their occupancy upon a lease event. Those with a lease break after 2020, who have wanted to upgrade and/or reduce their office accommodation, have now dealt with their space. But that doesn’t account for everyone.

If you took a 5-year lease in 2019, or indeed a 10-year lease in 2014, next year may be your first chance to realise your new office requirements – and these conversations need to be happening now.  Both 2019 and 2014 were excellent years for activity, and so we would expect to see a significant amount of activity in the coming year from occupiers exercising their lease breaks, and they’ll have plenty of options too.

Lots of larger space coming back, but smaller space is lacking

New stock of refurbished Grade A offices in Solihull and the M42
BuildingLocationSize (sq ft)
Portland HouseNEC / Birmingham Airport61,000
One Central BoulevardBlythe Valley Park60,000
Blake HouseEagle Court Business Park37,000
Total 228,000

It’s excellent to see nearly 230,000 sq ft of refurbished space come to market, across four properties, and there’s more to come. We expect to see a strong response to these refurbished buildings and those in the pipeline, as larger occupiers have some choice again when looking to relocate and enhance their ESG credentials. However, this is only true of those seeking larger space. Sub 3,500 sq ft, it’s a different story.

Portland House, Birmingham Airport - KWB Solihull office market research Q2 2023
Portland House, Birmingham Airport

Most of the office deals that have taken place over the past few years have been below 5,000 sq ft. These transactions have taken place right across Birmingham’s out-of-town office market and the stock in all places has shrunk further and further. With so few options now available, it’s possible that demand in the serviced office market will increase if occupiers cannot find the traditional space they require.


Severe lack of smaller stock in the Solihull office market is an important opportunity for landlords with vacant office buildings. Properties that can be refurbished to offer high quality office suites sub 3,500 sq ft will address the shortage, and can expect to see strong interest.

At the same time, demand for office refurbishment services has pushed up associated costs, with these increased expenses being passed onto the occupier, through higher rents.

See full details of the transactions featured in our M42 and Solihull office market research.

For more information, please contact Malcolm Jones on 0121 233 2330 or email mjones@kwboffice.com.

To register for future research updates, click here. See also our Birmingham office market research.

Want to know more?

Contact Malcolm Jones

0121 233 2330