Looking to create a new company but worried about the overheads? A Google search might have you running to WeWork, the massive co-working giant valued at $47 billion (£37bn) that’s planning to launch an IPO later this year.
But many would-be entrepreneurs prefer to give WeWork a miss. Some don’t want to line the pockets of a big company, instead choosing to support local enterprise, which can often end up cheaper than WeWork’s desk hire rates. Still, entrepreneurs do need to scrimp and save up for their first office space, and so choose to rent out a desk at co-working spaces.
Co-working spaces and rented offices – “flexible” office space – has become a massive market. People were working in nearly 830,000 square metres of flexible office space across Europe last year, according to Workthere, an offshoot of property consultancy Savills.
The average co-working space in the UK has around 110 desks, with around 120 members, according to a 2018 co-working survey. WeWork has more than 700 offices across 123 cities, including 58 office spaces across five British cities – but there are more than 300 other co-working spaces across the UK, some with fewer than 50 desks. Here are the most interesting, often independent, spaces to spark your next idea in a collaborative workspace.
9. Ormeau Baths, Belfast
Belfast’s former bath house has been transformed into a tech hub, and is home to Barclays Eagle Labs in the city. Berths in the bath house start at £149 per month, and is home to a bubbling undercurrent of startups in the Northern Irish capital. The space is also linked to Ulster University, while it’s also allied to other co-working spaces across the UK and Ireland, including DogPatch Labs in Dublin, giving some members access to other places to set up their laptop while they travel. Find out more here.