Workspace that Works

workspace that works banner

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with fewer than 50 employees make up 99% of London businesses and account for 41% of employment. They support economic development and are often linked with local communities. SME workspaces – including flexible workspace, accelerators, and incubators – also support regeneration by activating unused spaces and enlivening neighbourhoods,, offsetting budget cuts with business rates, offering training to local people, and bringing cultural or leisure activity. They’re a natural fit for mixed-use development in well-connected areas throughout London.

Local authorities should do all they can to support SME workspaces, which face spiralling rents and walloping rates hikes across much of the capital – not to mention competition for land due to pressure for housing. That being said, businesses and workspace providers are often reluctant to engage with a public sector they see as risk-averse, slow to act and bureaucratic.

Workspace that Works used seminars, field trips, interviews, workshops, and networking events to showcase best practice in linking workspace provision to regeneration and highlights issues local authorities and partners on mixed-use schemes should be aware of when planning workspace projects.

The issues around workspace are evolving and its importance for economic and social impact at local and regional scales is perhaps greater today than ever before. Future of London have returned to this project every year  by bringing urban stakeholdes together to generate new ideas and share practical solutions. Read about our latest event, Workspace for All here.


workspace that works report cover

Workspace that Works

The final report for this project offers case studies on different types of workspaces in London, best practice and recommendations for local authorities securing workspace, and recommendations for the GLA, workspace providers, and developers. Download the report.

Related blog posts

Future London Leaders 27: Proposals for London

Future London Leaders 27 wrapped up in June 2021 with candidates presenting their Proposals for London on the theme of Green Recovery in webinar format. A virtual audience of colleagues, mentors, sponsors, alumni and course contributors tuned in to cast their votes from home.

FLL26 proposals for London group

Future London Leaders 26: Proposals for London

Future London Leaders 26 wrapped up in March 2021 with candidates presenting their Proposals for London on the theme of technology in webinar format. A virtual audience of colleagues, mentors, sponsors, alumni and course contributors tuned in to cast their votes from home.

Lucent, W1, City of Westminster - workspace image courtesy of Landsec

Alumni Communities of Practice forum – workspace

Alumni Communities of Practice forum exploring some of the short-term operational and design challenges faced during the Covid crisis, and the long-term role workspace will play in supporting local economic recovery.

Panel on building resilient workspace

Building resilient workspaces

Our half-day conference on 23 January explored the state of the market, the social and economic value of workspaces, the implications of the GLA’s pilot accreditation scheme and, most importantly, how we can deliver workspaces that work for London’s future.

Local trusts: helping them help Londoners

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.

Workspace matching event, 5 Oct

This popular event introduces top workspace operators to landlords wanting to learn, and shares the latest in workspace policies.

Workspace that Works: report launch

On 21 February, Future of London launched our Workspace that Works report, looking at the links between SME workspace provision and regeneration, and what role local authorities can play.

Workspace that Works: Park Royal

On 24 November, we visited Park Royal to learn about its existing workspace offer and how the OPDC plans to promote workspace provision throughout its extensive regeneration project.

SUPPORTED BYworkspace sponsor banner