It’s been a difficult day for friends working in London’s media district today. As this article explains, power cuts have hit the hip area around Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road and Piccadilly Circus. Many of the world’s largest PR firms have their headquarters there: Lighthouse AR was based by Carnaby Street up until February this year, and our friends at Lighthouse PR and Hill & Knowlton remain there.
Understandably, air-conditioning systems (and pubs) were working at full tilt in the most tightly packed sliver of the West End’s shopping and office centre. It’s no surprise that the demand for electricity there is meeting new heights, even though central London suffered a series similar blackouts in the summer of 2003. Looking ahead, it’s just one further reason why the centre of London looks less and less attractive as a office location.
It’s a very different story at our London office, just half a mile from Parliament but — crucially — on the south side of the River Thames. The property around Lighthouse’s office is a mixture: offices, which consume power during the daytime; homes, which use power during the evenings; a palace and a farm. As a result, different users of power around here don’t peak at the same time.
Business continuity issues like these will only grow in significance in the future. This will also have an effect on AR professionals: analyst firms will continue to move out of the West End, as Ovum has done, and towards The City and the South Bank.