Workspace for all
Since 2016, Future of London’s Workspace that Works initiative has brought together cross-sector organisations through field trips, networking events, and a major report to share best practice in promoting SME workspace throughout the city. Now a well-established part of the market, shared and affordable SME workspace continues to enjoy high demand and fast growth .
As these flexible spaces play a greater role in local economic development strategies, councils are seeking – often demanding – an affordable, supportive and inclusive offer to maximise community benefit.
Authorities often seek features such as discounted or staircased rents, allocation for charitable or creative organisations, or training and support for area residents. Many councils are also striving to promote diversity among operators and their tenants; this is an issue Future of London champions across all its work.
Workspace for All mini conference
To coincide with Global Entrepreneurship Week 2018, Future of London and LB Hackney spotlighted workspace inclusion and diversity (of offer and of occupiers) at Hackney House on 14 November.
The afternoon of seminars and networking hosted more than 100 public and private landlords, developers, workspace operators and planning/policy decision-makers. In addition to identifying ways to attract a broader range of occupiers, seminars included topics such as move-on/scale-up space, the future of workspace, supporting smaller operators, design, affordability and business rates.
A summary of the event is available here.
Providing community services, space and connections is getting tougher. Historically the domain of churches and temples and technically a council responsibility, this key element of local support relies on vulnerable funding – and lots of good will. Local trusts have been delivering that support for decades, and it may be time for them to play a bigger role.