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Business Continuity

Weighing up London’s risks as a corporate location

11th August 2014

 London Calling

It’s easy to understand the lure of the capital as a location for a corporate headquarters: a prestigious address close to the UK’s government, unrivalled transport links and proximity to City investors.

Yet these attractions have to be balanced with the location-specific terror threat, universal risks of business disruption, the risk of flooding and property prices.

Flood dangers

One of the main risks London poses is the very real risk of flooding. On 5 December 2013 the UK experienced the most serious tidal surge in over 60 years, with London seeing the highest tide since completion of the Thames Barrier in 1984.

And it’s not just high tides that are a problem. The Thames Catchment area received 56% of the average annual rainfall in just 66 days up to 16 February 2014. Consequently, the Thames Barrier was raised 50 times in just 13 weeks over the winter of 2013/14.

The City of London Corporation’s Flood Risk Management Strategy identifies three different sources of flood risk:

1. The River Thames flooding due to a storm surge up the estuary that overcomes the barrier and river defence walls
2. Surface water flooding during, and after, intense rainfall if drains cannot cope
3. Ground water flooding as local aquifer water seeps into building basements

Affordability of property

Not to be overlooked are rising property prices in previously unfashionable areas of London – home to a number of businesses and in-house recovery sites. The central location, localised regeneration initiatives and relative affordability of ‘Class B’ properties have led to these districts becoming increasingly attractive to developers, with the inevitable effect of driving up prices.

Consider a ‘near/far’ recovery strategy

London-based organisations can work around these exceptional threats by providing an inner and outer London recovery capability. In the event of localised disruption, staff can decamp to a recovery centre on their doorstep. If events affect a wider geographical area, they can relocate to an alternative workplace on the capital’s outskirts.

The Sungard AS Borehamwood workplace recovery location was chosen for its excellent road and rail links. Our other strategically positioned workplace recovery sites circumvent London along all the main commuter routes, enabling us to offer customers a more localised service with minimal travel time.

With the exceptional threats London faces it undoubtedly makes sound business sense to consider the feasibility of having a secondary recovery location at an outer London recovery site, whether that is in Borehamwood or elsewhere.

For more information about our Borehamwood Workplace Recovery Centre, call us on 0800 143 413 or email