You’ve been running your business from your spare bedroom for some time now. And you’re starting to get fed up with the isolation and struggle to separate work and home life. Sure, you take your laptop out to coffee shops once in a while. But it never feels quite enough. It’s definitely time to start looking for an office.
But the serviced office providers are too expensive, corporate and stuffy for what they offer. And the private options want to tie you into lengthy, inflexible contracts with chunky annual rents. Besides, what’s the point in spending all that cash if you’re only going to end up by yourself in a room?
I’m a business owner and I’ve tried every option over the past 10 years. By far the best – if you’re a sole entrepreneur or a tiny team – is to go down the route of co-working. These friendly shared spaces across the UK offer a sense of community, and allow you to make connections you’d otherwise miss.
We’ve put together a list of 50 of the best, broken down by region, so you can easily find the nearest co-working provider. As you'll see, we haven’t included places that we’d deem too 'corporate'. This is a list that doesn’t feature the huge office providers of the world, desperate to claw some of the growing co-working market that has proved so popular in recent years.
It’s about sharing the kind of places that we’d feel comfortable working from. The genuine, authentic collaborative communities that offer more than just a ‘cool’ graphic on a wall and a fancy roof garden. (Oh you cheeky office providers out there. You know who I’m talking about. You can take your inflexible contracts and unfriendly we-only-want-to-make-money-out-of-you attitude and shove it!)
If we’ve missed any co-working spaces off the list that you feel are worth a mention, tweet us @creative_boom and we’ll consider adding. Please note that the following are in no particular order.
1. Central Working, Manchester
Offices needn’t be as limiting as desks in a location. Central Working on Deansgate is tailored to you so that you’re not paying for anything you don’t need. Whether it’s a private office space in Manchester with a shared desk in another (they have locations elsewhere – six in London), they’ll find the mix that’s right for you. All above a lovely coffee shop too.
Starting from £99 per month | www.centralworking.com
2. Basecamp, Liverpool
At Basecamp you get a vibrant community of like-minded entrepreneurs; a supportive environment where members benefit from co-working by sharing knowledge, ideas, connections and forming long lasting friendships as well as opportunities to grow their respective businesses.
Starting from £100 per month | basecampliverpool.co.uk
3. Launch22, Liverpool
Launch22 has recently opened its second site in Liverpool, offering an incubator space for startups and early entrepreneurs a space to grow. How do they help? They offer a fully serviced workspace, on-site mentoring and loads of startup events.
From £60 per month | www.launch22.co.uk
4. The Assembly, Manchester
Based on Great Ancoats Street in Manchester, The Assembly is a place that aims to offer collaboration and a sense of community. Founded by people who love co-working so much they decided to create their own space.
Desks cost £180 per month | assemblymcr.com
5. Industry, Chester
Situated in the creative canal side garden quarter of Chester, opposite Telford’s Warehouse, Industry is a friendly creative hub with seven desks for an informal co-working environment. A vibrant place, you can easily book a desk online and work alongside likeminded creatives.
Just £12 per day | industrychester.co.uk
6. altspace, Altrincham, Cheshire
Are you struggling to find a workplace for your startup? altspace offers affordable deskspace and flexible memberships to small businesses and freelancers. Based in Altrincham, it's an alternative solution from home or a formal office and allows you to work with likeminded people in a creative, collaborative environment.
North East and Yorkshire & The Humber
7. Campus North, Newcastle upon Tyne
Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Campus North is recognised as one of the best co-working and event spaces for tech meet-ups, startups and established businesses in Europe. Ok, so it's main focus is about being an incubator for tech firms – but if this sounds ideal for you, it's definitely one to consider.
Co-working costs £160 per month | campusnorth.co.uk
8. Duke Studios, Leeds
If you work in the creative industries, then Duke Studios was made for you. Providing workspaces, creative services and facilities, it's a collaborative and open co-working space in the city centre of Leeds – putting people first, and business second. It also happens to be one of our favourites in terms of how it's decorated – super cool.
From £99 per month | duke-studios.com
9. Union St, Sheffield
Located in the heart of Sheffield, Union St is a four-storey building offering co-working, hotdesking, meeting rooms, event space, roof garden, professional kitchen and pop-up cafe, designed with collaboration in mind for people developing self employment, start-ups, contractors, social enterprises and freelancers. Perfect.
Starting from £45 per month | www.union-st.org
10. The Egg Factory, Hebden Bridge
The Egg Factory doesn't just have a great name, it's a creative co-working space in the heart of Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire. Offering desk space, for either half days or full, along with facilities such as screen printing and product photography studio – it's the perfect spot if you happen to live locally and want to become part of a thriving creative community.
Starting from £50 per month | www.theeggfactory.co
11. Co Up, Huddersfield
Co Up is a new kind of creative hub in Yorkshire. They offer a professional co-working space to do business as a freelancer, micro or small startup. And you'll find meeting rooms, commercial photography studio, exhibition spaces, pop-up retail and event areas – all available for hire.
From £12 per day | www.co-up.co
Midlands and East of England
12. The Transfer at The Old Print Works, Birmingham
Do you live in Birmingham and care about sustainability, localism and community wellbeing? The Transfer is a co-working space based inside The Old Print Works to the south of the city. Hosting artists, makers and creative freelancers, it lies just a short walk from Moseley and is open five days a week with comfy sofas and a range of desks to work from.
Starting from £35 per month | www.oldprintworks.org
13. The Loft, Birmingham
The Loft is a charity-backed venture offering co-working space and excellent facilities for small business owners in Birmingham. But it doesn't stop there, The Loft offers a whole host of other services, so you can rock up and be safe in the knowledge that you can grow your business with them.
Starting from just £4 per day | www.theloftworkspace.co.uk
14. Common Space, Stoke-on-Trent
Common Space is a new co-working space for creatives, freelancers, startups and micro businesses in the heart of the Potteries. Get out of your house to enjoy a sense of community, your own desk, fast wifi, printer facilities, tea and coffee, plus a whole bunch of friendly people.
From £10 per day | common-space.co.uk
15. Karl Studio, Nottingham
Founded by freelancer Chris Allwood, Karl Studio is a collaborative co-working studio based in Cobden Chambers, Nottingham. Comprised of designers, developers, copywriters and illustrators.
Contact the studio for prices | karl.studio
16. White Space, Norwich
Whitespace is a not-for-profit co-working space based at St James Mill in Norwich. With a fast-growing network of entrepreneurs, investors, mentors and influencers, the Whitespace network encourages collaboration and growth within a supportive and like-minded community of tech and digital innovators.
17. Mild Bunch, Bristol
Mild Bunch is a home from home. With a dozen friendly people who have fun working together and frequently hanging out, it's a hybrid studio space and office, offering a really comfortable and relaxed place to co-work. With custom-designed shared desks, comfy chairs and plenty of light, it's just the creative space you've been looking for.
Costs £220 per month | mildbun.ch
18. Desk Lodge, Bristol
Set in the former Evening Post building in Bristol, Desk Lodge is minutes from Temple Meads train station, Cabot Circus and Castle Park, with lovely views from many of its windows. The light, bright space offers hotdesking, fixed desks, private offices and meeting rooms. You have options from simply dropping in and paying by the hour or becoming a member or resident Desk Lodger. Spread out over two floors, this is a very fancy space with super fast internet and great coffee ready and waiting for you.
From £10 per month | desklodge.com
19. 11 Backfields Lane, Bristol
11 Backfields Lane is a co-working deskshare, set up by the founders of online design shop Howkapow, Rog and Cat How. It's located on a cobbled lane in the heart of Bristol’s creative quarter, Stokes Croft. Surrounded by other independent businesses it is a perfect location for fledgling enterprise and business collaborations.
From £15 per month | www.11backfieldslane.co.uk
20. The Generator, Exeter
The Generator is Exeter's first and biggest co-working space offering flexible and affordable office space in an open plan environment. It's a great place to work with great people, so grab your laptop and go and say hello!
From £10 per day | the-generator.org
21. The Guild, Bath
Launched in July 2013, the Guild offers a mixture of creative workspace and meeting rooms. Housed in the Grade I listed former Tech College at the Guildhall, it offers co-working for those in either the tech or creative industries. Perfect.
From £49 per month | www.theguildhub.co.uk
22. Cohub, Eastbourne
Cohub is a great little co-working community in Eastbourne with a whole host of members – from entrepreneurs and freelancers to remote workers that need somewhere away from home. There are no joining fees and no minimum term contracts – simply rock up, become a member and start benefiting from being part of the space.
From £30 per month | cohub.co.uk
23. The Skiff, Brighton & Hove
According to member The Copy House, The Skiff isn’t just a workplace, it’s a community and a second home! Ellen de Vries explains: "Working at the Skiff makes me back the money I spend on it in terms of my productivity, getting work contacts, getting business questions answered and being able to collaborate with others."
From £10 per month | www.theskiff.org
24. The Werks, Brighton & Hove
The Werks Group offers workspace to a host of great creative companies and freelancers with built-in support and events to make their buildings genuine, alternative destinations and helpful, creative communities. And all in beautiful Brighton and Hove.
From £14 per day | www.werksgroup.org.uk
25. Fruitworks, Canterbury
Fruitworks is a co-working space 30 seconds from Canterbury city centre and is the only space of its kind in the city. Work with like-minded people in a quirky environment and choose from 80 desks on a residential or hotdesking basis in two beautiful open plan rooms. Or enjoy the chill-out areas that come with pool and ping-pong tables.
From £60 per month | fruitworks.co
26. Central Working, Bloomsbury
With six offices across London, Central Working provides a suitable space where things happen. Flexibility, connections, clarity and environment are the key values of the offices, inviting individuals and groups to “get things done better, faster, and seize new opportunities” within their buzzing environment. Head to their offices in the City of London, Farringdon, Paddington, Shoreditch, Whitechapel and, of course, Bloomsbury.
From £99 per month | www.centralworking.com
27. Club Workspace, London Bridge
Club Workspace is continuing to grow its network of creative workspaces across London, but on this occasion we'll tell you about their hub in London Bridge. The offices are more official than some other co-working spaces, allowing individuals or early-stage businesses access to their own mailbox, lockers, and meeting or events spaces. Based right next to The Shard, the space is lies in a revamped period building, which retains the original tannery features of exposed brickwork and beams, providing a place for important projects or meetings, without the corporate feel.
Desks cost £325 per month | www.club.workspacegroup.co.uk
28. Huckletree, Clerkenwell
Light and spacious, Huckletree leads innovation and community at their shared workspace in Clerkenwell. The hub particularly encourages startups, with many designers heading here to rethink technologies and recreate the world as we know it. The office is committed to sustainability as well, so you can expect to find lots of plants, energy-saving equipment, and furniture created from recycled materials.
From £35 per day | www.huckletree.com
29. Greenhouse N16, Newington Green
Greenhouse N16 is a unique co-working, event and wellbeing space in the heart of Newington Green. Designed to inspire, it meets business needs, with fibre-optic connectivity, media editing suite, seminar, conference and event facilities all under one glass roof.
From £150 per month | thegreenhouselondon.com
30. Rainmaking Loft, St Katharine's & Wapping
London is one of three trendy Rainmaking co-working office spaces, with others in Berlin and Copenhagen. Driven by a fun ethos the Loft opens its doors to tech entrepreneurs and company builders, focusing on cultivating the potential of early stage tech startups. You can take some time out from planning by watching the TV or playing a game of table football. The best ideas come when you’re having fun after all…
From £349 per month | www.rainmakingloft.com
31. TechHub, Shoreditch
Sharing their space with a Google Campus, aspiring tech heads should head to TechHub to be part of a powerful tech network. Their London studios have received a name for being at the heart of the UK’s biggest technology cluster in London. Tech startups and entrepreneurs are welcomed into their three East London homes on Bonhill Street (Campus), Old Street, and Shoreditch. The studios also host a variety of events and workshops at their main Campus base, to keep you fuelled for your latest project.
From £425 per year | www.london.techhub.com
32. Uber Office, Silvertown
Just three minutes away from Victoria Station, Uber Office is in a handy central location. The office offers a place to meet, work and create, within a comfortable and practical environment. There are plenty of trendy chairs and bright colours to keep you happy and inspired throughout the day on your personal project, or meeting rooms for collaborations.
33. Warner Yard, Clerkenwell
Welcoming technology entrepreneurs, investors, and tech stars Warner Yard is based in the heart of Clerkenwell. It aims to target fund companies as well as early-stage investors, housing many tech geniuses within its slick office space. The hanging light bulbs and crisp interiors look like something straight out of a Scandinavian design magazine.
Costs £350 per month | www.warneryard.com
34. We Work, Soho
We Work’s London office spaces are the ideal platform for creators. With beautifully decked out offices in Soho and South Bank, they are the perfect location for any creative freelancer on the go. Expect some quirky wall art and vintage touches to keep you inspired.
From £250 per month | www.wework.com
35. Winkley Street Studios, Bethnal Green
The open-plan studios at Winkley Street in Bethnal Green offer a friendly and peaceful workspace for creatives. The studio is collection of old wooden school desks and chairs, vintage armchairs and lots of plants. It’s the ideal studio if you’re looking to de-stress. There’s even an outside space with a shed and seating area.
From £25 per day | www.winkleystudios.com
36. THECUBE, Shoreditch
One of the first co-working spaces on the London scene, THECUBE aims to be more than just a range of desks; it aims to help and support freelancers and businesses with an interest in science, technology and design. It strives to be an incubator for small firms, finding ways to help them grow at its Commercial Street base.
From £125 per month | www.thecubelondon.com
37. Beehive, Stoke Newington
The Beehive is a vibrant and creative co-working space in the heart of Stoke Newington and Hackney. It offers a collaborative and inspiring working environment situated only a minute walk from Stoke Newington station at the start of Belfast Rd. The space is a beautifully refurbished Victorian warehouse with high ceilings, lots of natural light and a spacious open plan work area.
From £15 per day | www.beehivecoworking.com
40. The Melting Pot, Edinburgh
As Scotland’s Centre for Social Innovation, The Melting Pot is one of the first co-working spaces in the UK and a true pioneer of the international co-working movement. It's home to a wonderfully inspiring and diverse range of organisations of all sizes. They're ideal for those needing an Edinburgh base or branch office and/or self-employed people, lone workers and start-ups looking for an alternative to home-working.
41. Tribe Porty, Edinburgh
Over at Tribe, community is important to the way they work. Their co-working space is specifically designed to encourage creativity – the random collision of people and ideas that spur innovation, exchange and connectivity. Tribe Porty suits the evolving working styles of freelancers, start-ups and people who require a flexible workspace.
From £170 per month | tribeporty.org
42. The Distillery, Glasgow
The Distillery is a co-working space for Glasgow’s creative community. It’s been designed to suit the evolving working styles of freelancers, start-ups and people who require a flexible work space – just turn up, switch on, and start work.
From £175 per month | www.thewhiskybond.co.uk
43. Rookie Oven, Glasgow
Fairfield Shipyard has been a hub of engineering excellence for over 150 years. Its light airy co-working space is based in the shipyard drawing offices which have undergone a £6 million restoration. It offers a home to the Glasgow tech community, and hosts a range of events such as meetups, streams and hackathons, not forgetting regular social gatherings and of course first class space to work from.
From £120 per month | rookieoven.com
44. The Old Flour Mill, Dundee
Situated at Exchange Court, in the heart of Dundee, The Old Flour Mill lies in a distinctive Grade B listed former mill building, built in the early 1800s which has been extensively refurbished to provide modern flexible office accommodation over three floors.
45. Hill Street Design House, Edinburgh
Located in Edinburgh's New Town, Hill Street Design House provides eight grand studios, over four floors, resided by a mix of upcoming and established design-led businesses. Whether you're looking to rent a whole studio or share a space with other creatives, Hill Street has an inclusive environment designed to inspire collaborations, enhance your practice, and provide a professional location for client meetings and workshops.
46. Rabble Studio, Cardiff
Rabble Studio is a new co-working creative community based in Cardiff, based in an old Victorian building with high ceilings, wooden floors and lots of light. The co-working studio is on the third floor with a communal lounge/work area, a kitchen, a meeting room and 16+ work stations. They're always on the lookout for people to join them and make Rabble Studio their work home. Designers, filmmakers, illustrators, developers, writers, photographers, creative producers, architects, art directors, makers – anyone who works in a creative field is welcome to join The Rabble.
Costs £180 per month | rabblestudio.co.uk
47. IndyCube, Swansea
IndyCube is a leading co-working provider with locations all over Wales. But this time, we'll focus on its Swansea hub. The team there believe working for yourself shouldn't mean working by yourself! At this space in central Swansea you can work your way with good coffee and good company.
From £12 per day | indycube.cymru
48. The Sustainable Studio, Cardiff
The Sustainable Studio is an open co-working community in the heart of Cardiff. They love recycling and all things creative so it's not your usual work space. All their furniture, fixtures and fittings have had a previous life somewhere else so they hope this interesting space will inspire you to do something amazing with a group of like-minded individuals.
From £10 per day | www.thesustainablestudio.com
49. WabiSabi, Belfast
WabiSabi is about The Pursuit of Happiness at Work. Working from home is lonely. Loneliness leads to isolation, which lessens confidence. In turn this dampens productivity and ultimately sales. Enter a new co-working space in the heart of Belfast. A community of entrepreneurial types working in an atmosphere where entrepreneurship, focus, connections, learning, serendipity, events and creativity can thrive.
50. The Foundry, Belfast
The Foundry is much more than just a desk and internet access, it’s an energising environment that fosters collaboration in a shared and supportive space. Offering the flexibility of a range of co-working options, it's designed to facilitate part time and full time entrepreneurs.
From £25 per day | thefoundrybelfast.com
Main image courtesy of Rachel Johns at The Egg Factory