Innovative Meeting Spaces in London.

London tops the list of the 25 best meeting destinations in Europe, hosting hundreds of conferences, congresses, and professional events every year. The city’s venues cater to every industry sector and accommodate meetings of all sizes, from meeting rooms for small gatherings to large venues capable of accommodating thousands of delegates. Among all this choice, we highlight some of the most innovative and unique meeting spaces in London.

1. Plexal

Plexal is an innovation centre and workspace built in 2017 to provide space for the development of cutting-edge ideas. The building is often chosen for hackathon’s, tech events, and meetups for the creative and tech sectors. Meeting space is suitable for events of up to 300 people, and stands out for the quality of its dedicated event technology. Cutting edge equipment like 3D printers come as a standard, as do large projection screens and monitors and bespoke lighting.

Another way in which Plexal stands out from other meeting venues is its indoor park. This unique space has been specifically created to host informal events, but can also double as a breakout area. Sitting is arranged in bleachers, loungers, deck chairs, even bean bags.

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London Office Space in Strong Demand

Demand For Office Space In London

London is a premium office market at a global level, and as such, demand for office space in the British capital is always on the rise. Demand for office space in London is evenly distributed across three sub-market categories:

Established markets are in centrally located areas, like the City of London, London Bridge, Canary Wharf, Tech City/ Shoreditch, Aldgate, and Clerkenwell. In the West End, in-demand sub-markets include Westminster, Paddington, St James, and Mayfair. Other more recently established office markets are King’s Cross and Southbank.

Up-and-coming or emerging office sub-markets are mainly located in South and East London. In South London, demand is stronger in Battersea, Vauxhall, Nine Elms and the Greenwich Peninsula, where many new high-spec offices are being built alongside residential buildings. Continue reading “London Office Space in Strong Demand”

The Business Design Centre in London

The Business Design Centre is located in a Grade II listed building that has a long history, originating in the mid 19th century. Inaugurated under the name of Royal Agricultural Hall, the building was created to host exhibitions and other large events until the mid 1940s.

This venue hosted a range of historical events, ranging from the 1867 Grand Ball to the annual Smithfield Show. Despite its initial success, it eventually fell into neglect during the post-war era, and for approximately 40 years the building was unused until it was re-opened in 1986 as the Business Design Centre.

Event & Exhibition Space

Nowadays, this is one of London’s top event venues, and is used for exhibition, trade fair, and conferencing purposes. Since its reopening, the Business Design Centre has hosted prestigious events such as the BAFTA awards, the New Designers exhibition, and was also used by a delegation during the 2012 Olympics.

Other events hosted here on a regular basis include The World Advanced Therapies & Regenerative Medicine Congress, Digital Marketing World Forum, Cruise Job Fair, Floral Art and Design Show, DX Summit London, and Connected Britain.

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Creative Workspace in London

London Workspace For Creative Companies

Since the creative industries emerged as a distinct sector in the late 1990s, they have been driving economic growth and helping promote employment growth across the UK. Their impact and rise have been so vast that there is now talk of a creative economy, which is expected to create up to 1 million new jobs by 2030, and also to drive up entrepreneurship to record-high levels.

The creative sector is at its most dynamic in London, known as the largest creative hub in the United Kingdom and one of the most important at European level. In 2017, this sector employed almost 1 million people in the British capital, and accounted for more than 11 per cent of the city’s total GVA.

The importance of London’s creative sector is also reflected in the city’s real state market. This growing sector needs suitable workspace, as office space take-up figures confirm: over the past few years, demand for office space in London has largely been coming from creative firms, especially those involved in technology, communications, and media. During the first quarter of 2019, creative sub-sectors like media and tech were behind a quarter of all workspace transactions in some London sub-markets (like Mayfair and the West End), surpassing those of traditionally stronger sectors like finance and insurance.

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Looking for Shared Workspace in West London?

London's West End
West London is the city’s prime office market, and as such, it is also home to a large amount of shared and flexible office space. There are 2 million square feet of flexible office space in the West End, approximately 400,000 square feet in the West End Fringe (including Hammersmith, Kensington, and Knightsbridge), and a further 350,000 square feet in emerging West End locations such as Euston and Marylebone. All in all, the West End has the second largest percentage of flexible office inventory in the city, with approximately 3 per cent of all its stock and only surpassed by The City.

Some of the top coworking hotspots in London are in West London. For example, Soho’s reputation for being a creative hub means companies based here may be more inclined to try alternative workspace arrangements. Established coworking spaces in this area attract startups and firms in the growth stage mainly in sectors like design, film-making, media, and public relations.

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The City’s Typical Occupier Profile is Changing

City of London Skyline

London repeatedly tops the lists of best European cities for startups, due to its vibrant entrepreneurial scene, business environment, support, access to skilled labour pool, and digital infrastructure. When it comes to digital startups, The City is quickly gaining status as one of the best places to be based in. While traditionally this part of London has been dominated by large finance and banking companies, the business landscape in the Square Mile is changing and new players are arriving and contributing to a diversification of the local economy and the real estate market.

The typical occupier profile in The City has been in a constant state of change for approximately 10 years. Many companies in the TMT sector (technology, media, and telecommunications) are setting up or relocating to this part of London, and this in turn is prompting office developers and landlords to rethink their space offer so that it accommodates the needs of new tenants. New occupiers tend to be smaller in size, with the vast majority of new tenants having fewer than 250 employees. This means there is a growing need for smaller office units that offer high specs without long-term commitments, and this is where flexible and coworking arrangements come into play.

Coworking hubs in The City

Recent campaigns have presented The City as “the original coworking space”, highlighting the collaborative spirit that helped position this area as one of the world’s most important economic engines starting as far back as the 17th century.

WeWork is the largest provider of shared office space in The City, and has almost doubled the amount of coworking space offered in just a year after acquiring more than 100,00 square feet in an iconic building on One Poultry. Other popular options include The Clubhouse, near Bank station; CoWork City in Cannon Street; and The Boutique Workplace, in Queen Street. Shared office space is also available in some of the area’s serviced offices, such as Landmark at The Royal Exchange, and Servcorp in Dashwood House.

While there has been an effort to create purpose-built accelerators and incubators in The City to attract high-tech talent and high-value investments, their number remains low when compared to other parts of London. However, things are expected to change as traditional office tenants in the area begin to realise the potential for collaboration with industry sectors that are typical shared space occupiers, such as FinTech, blockchain, and artificial intelligence. Along with accelerator space, other priorities include the creation of flexible space that allow tenants to scale up.

Is a Coworking Space Right for Me?

Is coworking space right for me?
Coworking spaces are becoming ever more popular in the freelancer and telecommuting sphere. Startups are utilizing coworking spaces too as it helps propagate creativity and flow of free ideas among the like-minded individuals who find themselves in that environment. These work sanctuaries are popping up in droves in the cities across the world and people are embracing their arrival.

For those of us who are working from home, or are constantly on the road, a coworking area solves a lot of the problems we encounter daily. You have the option of flocking to your nearest coffee shop, but that too is littered with distractions that cannot be easily averted.

You may be asking yourself – “what are the extensive benefits a coworking space can offer me that no other alternative will?” You’re in luck, because that’s exactly what we’re here to talk about.

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North London Coworking and Shared Workspaces

According to a recent report, in 2018 there were more than 1,000 venues offering flexible office space in London. Most of them are located in the West End and in The City, but three North London boroughs have the fastest-growing rates of shared and flexible space: Camden, Islington, and Hackney. In these areas, demand and enquiry volume have spiked in a matter of months, and there are approximately 95 centres offering flexible office solutions across the whole North London area, plus a further 87 if North West London is included.

It’s no secret that London has some of the world’s highest levels of startup activity, which means it is ideally placed to be a hub for innovative office solutions too. The North London economy is mostly supported by micro-businesses, which account for more than 90 per cent of the total and are among the most likely to use shared workspaces.

Coworking Hubs in North London

Coworking in North London is an attractive option given that the area offers some of the lowest rates for flexible solutions in the British capital. Average workstation costs range between £400 and £600 / month.

There are several hubs in emerging North London boroughs, like Enfield and Haringey. Some examples include BusWorks, which offers a combination of shared, workshop and private office space to tech businesses in Holloway; the studio offices and coworking space at Chocolate Factory, in Wood Green; and government-backed initiatives like 639 Centre, in Tottenham, which provides affordable desk space in an effort to boost the growth of local tech and arts startups.

Also in North London is King’s Cross, known for being one of the city’s top tech hubs and a coworking hotspots, especially since Google moved to the area. Occupiers here are not only tech companies, but also media, publishing, and medical science firms. Some of the largest coworking hubs in this area are Impact Hub, Regus, WorkHubs, ARK Coworking, and Small Works.

There is another coworking cluster in Camden, where further growth is expected as multiple buildings are being acquired to be turned into collaborative office space. The flexible space provision in Camden is attractive enough to draw large corporates to the area, as is the case of KPGM, which moved from traditional offices in Canary Wharf to Camden Market.

Also worth mentioning is the coworking scene in Hackney, which is paving the way forward with innovative flexible space solutions like Containerville or Hackney Downs Studios. Lastly, North London entrepreneurs may want to consider the Park Royal area, home to one of the largest business parks in London. The surrounding area has a fair share of flexible accommodation options too, such as those managed by Spaces, Regus, or Spacing.

Hybrid office space is growing quickly as an alternative form of office accommodation. This model combines open-plan or shared workspaces with private office units and dedicated meeting space. Although hybrid accommodation is currently presented as a niche space to companies that require large office plates due to production requirements (e.g. software development or 3D printing), demand has been growing since 2017 and supply has doubled in only 12 months, suggesting this is another attractive option for local startups.


Company Relocation: Preparation & Planning

Relocating an office or company can be a lengthy and costly process. It can also be a stressful time in a company’s life for employers and employees. There are a range of considerations that must be top priorities when moving to a new office. These range from legal responsibilities to design and layout considerations to employee well-being and relations. This is the first in a four part series on company relocation, a subject we’ll be covering in depth over the coming months.

Company Relocation: Preparation & Planning

A successful move involves a lot of planning. Establishing requirements and priorities for a new location during the early planning stages will help inform decisions down the road. It will also establish a vision or objective for the move that will guide the entire process. Engaging with affected parties such as employees and clients will also help ensure the appropriate site is selected. It will also help reduce confusion and anxiety that inevitably is associated with a move. As a result, communication with employees, clients and other stakeholders is crucial to ensure a seamless move.

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