Rural co-working spaces

… shared workspaces, meeting rooms and communal facilities that are particularly attractive to small start-up businesses, creative industries, freelancers and solo consultancies.

A number of initiatives had been emerging in smaller towns and rural areas prior to the pandemic…

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Before the pandemic, things were going very well for small businesses:

A boom in small start up businesses in Devon – Vision Group for Sidmouth

At the same time, an enterprise which ws really helping out other enterprises was the Lighthouse hub:

The Lighthouse Sidmouth – Sidmouth’s Co-Working Space

Coworking space on The Lighthouse Sidmouth, Sidmouth – Book Online – Coworker

It reopened a year ago – and continues to provide vital support:

Lighthouse Sidmouth Workhub to reopen – Vision Group for Sidmouth

And it seems that the changing work patterns brought about by the pandemic will mean such hubs will be even more important – with studies and reports looking at the phenomenon:

The role of co-working spaces in digital rural futures • Digit

Rural co-working spaces are on the rise – Rural Services Network

Paddington Works by Threefold offers a model for post-Covid co-working

Co-working is the future for offices | Insight | Property Week

With the Regional Studies Association also looking at these spaces as a rural service:

The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked many questions about the future of work and employment with increasing rates of remote working expected to persist.  The possibility that commuters will spend less time in city centres, has led many industry experts to predict new growth in rural coworking.  In this article, we draw on interviews with 15 coworking operators to examine the new opportunities that coworking offers to integrate rural entrepreneurs and commuters in their communities and potentially to renegotiate interdependencies between urban and rural regions.

Coworking Spaces are managed facilities that offer shared workspaces, meeting rooms and communal facilities that have been particularly attractive to small start-up businesses, creative industries, freelancers and solo consultancies (Füzi, 2015). The essential values of coworking include a better work-life balance, reduced commuting and network opportunities to support collaboration and overcome isolation (Spinuzzi, 2012).  Although co-working has traditionally been an urban phenomenon, drawing on the “buzz” of city-centre locations, a number of initiatives had been emerging in smaller towns and rural areas prior to the pandemic…

RSA Regions Rural coworking: “It’s becoming contagious” – RSA Regions

image: The Lighthouse on Behance

   
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