Communal workspace platforms to triple says Manchester experts

Recent figures show nearly 30,000 new businesses were formed in Manchester last year, meaning that the traditional workplace is changing.

Organised shared spaces are the perfect environments for entrepreneurs and start-up businesses according to a panel of industry experts who met to debate the subject as part of a Creative Pro-Manchester event last week.

Julie Deane OBE, founder of the Cambridge Satchel Company, has just published the results of her independent review of UK self-employment calling on government to make 10 key changes recognising “the economic potential of the self-employed”. One of her recommendations was for increased accessibility to shared work spaces across the country; with more community spaces adapting under-utilised space into co-work.

The Creative Pro-Manchester event was hosted at one of the UK’s first such platforms – Hello Work at the Old Granada Studios, Manchester. The format, which is the brainchild of Allied London property developers, provides a strong support system to help young businesses grow and develop. With community at their core, they’ve created the ultimate collaboration platform and it seems this could be the start of a major shift change in how employers and landlords approach the provision of modern work space.

The lively panel discussion was led by Creative Pro-Manchester Co-Chairman and Managing Director of the Eword, Daniel Nolan, who was joined by Christian Hill, Strategy Director at Project Simply; Julia Mitchell, Managing Director at Toast PR; Adrian Stevenson, Director at Workplace; and Kirsty Devlin, founder of Social Cinnamon social media agency.

Sam Booth, head of development at pro-manchester said:

“With co-working and the use of shared workspaces rapidly on the rise, now is a great time to get into the nitty-gritty of the effects these enterprise platforms have on the productivity of businesses and start-ups and it was great to see such an enthusiastic response at the event.”

The panel agreed we’re now living in an ever changing ‘collaborative economy’ with more people working independently and outside traditional office hours, encouraging businesses to adapt early in order to maximise productivity and workplace wellbeing.

Kirsty Devlin, founder of Social Cinnamon social media agency who spoke on the panel said:

“The main benefits of working from a shared space is being around ambitious and focused people. To change your outcome, you must change your circle and feed off the motivation and innovation of others. A shared working platform enables you to surround yourself with others who share a similar vision, and encourage you to strive forwards beating the isolation that you can often feel when working from home.”

Julia Mitchell, MD of Toast PR said:

“Shared workspaces now provide essential services to start-ups, entrepreneurs and freelancers around the world, with an increasing amount of businesses adopting this style of office set up too. I believe we can expect to see the number of enterprise platforms like Hello Work at Old Granada Studios to triple over the next five years with the concept overtaking traditional offices as the predominant way we work.”

Hello Work is situated in The Old Granada Studios, Atherton Street Manchester. Flexi-pass memberships start at £99 with many extras including complimentary tea and coffee, meeting room use, complimentary wifi, beer and pizza Friday’s and invitation to all in-house events and networking sessions.

For more information about Hello Work visit

For more information about Creative Pro-Manchester visit


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