Not sure if it's a general increased squeeze towards efficiencies or the Brexit affect has people looking over the parapet towards the North. Either way we are seeing an increase in organisations, agencies and publishers enquiring about services and page rates. And these are not small publishers either. The world used to be in-house design or freelance with the bigger publishers mostly having in-house design teams. Not so anymore it seems.
80% of membership organisations are based in and around London so not surprising they historically use a lot of local suppliers. Which is actually quite incredible considering they must maximise the cost efficiency of their magazine and that does not necessarily equate to London overheads. It is worth getting some different prices to compare for a page rate that includes all ad and ed design, copy chasing, pre-flighting, amends and delivering to the printer,.
I think the other point is maybe a shift in cultural views. Having spent over a decade working in the centre of London, you felt the general snobbery towards regional suppliers versus those within the M25. Up North seemed a long way off and surely the quality and flexibility cannot exist? Hmm. Many London agencies have transparent costing policies that are actually quite complex and hold a multitude of costs, higher costs and 'disbursements'. A lot of their clients see this as normal, which is quite simply not the case. Regional agencies may copy this approach, but with lower overheads and operating costs generally, the pricing structure should be simpler and completely transparent.
There are no definitive stats, but with Capital agencies fragmenting and specialising services including setting up regional offices, there must be a massive gain for those who outsource their publishing needs.
Either way long may the trend continue.