- As Mindspace prepares to launch its first coworking space in London, Allwork.Space took a tour with Community Manager, Ashleigh Collins.
- Reflective of growing demand for coworking in London, the new Whitechapel workspace has already secured a number of members ahead of launch.
- According to CBRE, London is the largest flexible workspace market “by far” with over one thousand serviced and coworking centres.
Earlier this year, flexible workspace brand Mindspace announced its intention to expand into the UK with the launch of its first London coworking space at the Relay Building in Whitechapel.
As Mindspace put the finishing touches to its inaugural workspace in London, which opened on Monday 11th December, Allwork.Space was invited for a tour of the premises (in construction at the time of visiting) alongside Community Manager, Ashleigh Collins.
The first thing you’ll notice about Mindspace’s new centre is that it’s easy to find. The old discarded underground carriage, parked at ground level of the Relay Building, gives it away.
Another distinguishing feature of Mindspace Whitechapel is its location right next to Aldgate East tube station, placing it on the edge of The City, London’s financial district, and Shoreditch — the capital’s Tech City hub.
The location offers a strategic pitch for Mindspace to attract businesses from the financial and insurance industries as well as the creative, technology and media firms that supply them. What’s more, it makes for some impressive views of local landmarks.
Another factor that’s hard to ignore is Mindspace Whitechapel’s location right opposite WeWork Aldgate Tower. It’s so close that some of Mindspace’s south-facing office suites look directly onto the building from across the street.
Indeed, the proximity of these two rapidly growing flexible workspace brands is indicative of current demand for coworking and serviced office space in London.
Mindspace, which launched in 2014, has 16 locations across Israel and Europe and has already announced its second London location, even before the first has officially opened. WeWork, which launched in 2010 and has over 170 global locations, is currently laser-focused on London; recent reports claim that it is set to become the biggest private office tenant in the capital if its projected openings go ahead.
And there are many more flexible workspace brands, independent as well as multinational, competing for space in Central London. According to data from CBRE, London is the largest flexible workspace market “by far, not just in European terms but globally, with over one thousand serviced and coworking centres.”
CBRE’s November 2017 report, ‘European Flexible Office Markets – The Flexible Revolution’ finds that London’s flexible workspace market has grown dramatically from an average of 2% of annual office take-up, to 8% in 2016 and a massive 15% in H1 2017.
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As far as Mindspace is concerned, right now there is enough room for everyone.
“Competition is healthy,” said Ashleigh Collins, the new Community Manager at Mindspace Whitechapel, during our tour. “We’ve had a lot of interest for our space and a number of businesses have already signed up,” she explained.
Asked what makes Mindspace stand out against other operators in London, Ashleigh commented on their positive community-focused culture as well as their range of flexible workspace. This includes coworking and private office memberships targeted at small businesses and freelancers as well as corporates.
The new space is set to accommodate around 700 members across two floors of the Relay Building, which is being fitted with artwork and furniture “that reflects the local London culture”. Mindspace works with local artists and designers to reflect the local urban area within each space.
As Mindspace co-founder Dan Zakai explained, this is an important attribute of the brand. “We are fanatical about workplace design,” he said in an interview earlier this year. “All of our spaces are designed in a vintage style influenced by the area — for instance, we buy furniture from local flea markets and tap into the local art scene.”
This is clearly evident at Mindspace Whitechapel — even though at the time of visiting, much of the artwork was hiding under protecting sheeting to protect it from construction dust and debris.
And there’s certainly no shortage of local artistic talent at Whitechapel. The Whitechapel Gallery is a few steps away, as is Old Spitalfields Market — an eclectic collection of market stalls and shops selling everything from vintage fashion and interiors to original works of art.
With Whitechapel nearing completion, set for launch this month, Mindspace already has its sights set on its next London location. Based in Shoreditch in London’s Tech City, the company’s new 40,500 sq ft workspace will accommodate over 900 members and is set to open in the second quarter of 2018.
In November, Mindspace also announced its intention to open a third coworking space in Munich, Germany. At 77,500 sq ft, it will be its biggest flexible workspace to date. The company currently caters to over 9,500 members and 2,000 companies globally and says it soon plans to expand into the U.S.
Mindspace Whitechapel launched on Monday 11th December. Take a peek inside: