UK indie coworking spaces urged to join together to lobby government

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 07 July 2020

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UK: The UK Coworking Assembly has launched the campaign #SaveOurLocalCoworking, to secure economic relief for independent coworking operators.

As UK businesses reopen, coworking spaces are under pressure, with limited income exacerbated by reduced capacity and in most cases, pressure from landlords to keep up with lease payments. They are not receiving business rates relief and due to classification details, most are ineligible for emergency funding.

A campaign by the UK Coworking Assembly to lobby government, #SaveOurLocalCoworking, is fighting to secure economic relief for the UK’s hundreds of independent coworking hubs.

Shazia Mustafa, founder and CEO of Third Door in London, is a member of the Assembly as well as the Mayor of London’s Workspace Advisory Board. Alongside other members she is working to bring about urgent change to save the UK’s independent spaces from closure. “Coworking spaces aren’t getting business rates relief, but we’ve still got costs,” she told Allwork.Space. “Landlords aren’t willing to provide payment holidays and I’m still receiving invoices for the rent, even though our business hasn’t made any money over the past few months.”

The campaign has been set up to highlight the current situation for independent coworking spaces and to lobby government for support. Its supporters include including Bernie Mitchell from the UK Coworking Assembly and the European Coworking Assembly, Third Door Coworking, Maple Works, TMRW, The Hatchery, Space4, Cobot, Nexudus, OfficeRnD, The Melting Pot, Included, Fiona Ross, Town Sq and WeCoffee.

Jean-Yves of Coworking Europe and Social Workplaces, said: "Local and independent coworking spaces are integral to rebuilding economies in a post COVID-19 society, and that’s why this campaign is so important.”

“Lots of coworking spaces aren’t getting business rates relief because they don’t fall into a certain classification,” added Bernie Mitchell. “The rates system is broken. We need to fix how spaces are recognised so we can help coworking spaces get the immediate relief they need.”

 

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