A group of businesses, along with Shrewsbury BID (Business Improvement District), have formed the Shrewsbury Cowork Campus – which is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK.
David Parry, of Wellmeadow Consulting, based in Roushill, said the aim of the scheme was to encourage more people to work in the town centre with different venues offering a range of coworking environments.
He said: “A growing number of businesses are moving away from the traditional practice of running large offices which house large numbers of staff, and instead are offering their staff much more flexible options.
“Coworking spaces are now in big demand, and a number of businesses in the town centre have been offering coworking options for some time.
“The Shrewsbury Cowork Campus was born from a group of us getting together to pool our resources and really push the idea that Shrewsbury is a perfect place for co-working.
“It’s about encouraging people to come into town and work in any number of vibrant, inspiring places, rather than having to work from home or go back to their office in between meetings.”
The venues forming the campus are Wellmeadow Consulting in Roushill, The Shrewsbury Office Club in Castle Street, Lipstick and Freelance in The Square, Courtyard Collective in Butcher Row, The Pump House in Smithfield Road and Bodytech in Mardol.
Each has different facilities, a different atmosphere and different pricing structures which will suit a wide range of requirements – from using a desk for a few hours to a long-term rent.
Simon Russell, of Cogitor, which runs The Shrewsbury Office Club in Castle Street, said the co-working campus could help attract and retain talent in Shrewsbury.
He said: “It’s not about making money, it’s about helping people to work better.
“By offering a variety of different spaces, all independently owned with different facilities to suit a wide range of people, Shrewsbury can be unique.
“If you work for a large company whose head office may be in London, you don’t need to be travelling to London as much and if you don’t want to work from home, you need somewhere to be based.
“We currently have people using our coworking space who work on projects all over the world, and they can now be based here in Shrewsbury rather than having to move to London, Birmingham or some other big city.
“It’s really exciting and if we can grow our campus of coworking spaces, it can have a really positive effect on Shrewsbury as a whole, with more people working in the town centre.”
The project is being supported by Shrewsbury BID, and executive director, Seb Slater, said it was a very positive initiative.
“This is just the kind of innovative project, driven by businesses working together, which Shrewsbury is becoming recognised for,” he said.
“The Shrewsbury Cowork Campus will bring more people into the town centre and may even lead to more businesses being based here, which is one of the key aims of the BID, so we are very happy to support it.
“We are not aware of any other town which is coordinating its shared office space in this way, so it’s fantastic to see Shrewsbury taking the lead with such a positive project.”
For more information about using any of the office space, visit originalshrewsbury.co.uk/coworking or call Shrewsbury BID on 01743 358625.