Do you need free office space in Manchester?
By Felix Strasser On August 25, 2014
Over the last three months we have been building our startup MyHelpster in a free and open co-working space in Manchester’s business district Spinningfield. When we started working on our startup business we quickly expended our team and had to find affordable working space in Manchester. Like most startups, our budget is limited and we didn’t want to spend £50 to £100 on a desk in a co-working space. In a team of 5 people that quickly mounts up to £500 per month on internet and a desk and then you still have not build anything.
So what alternatives did we have? First, we could have done what many startups do – working in Starbucks or other coffee shops, but this is certainly not a very productive working environment. Also it can turn out to be very pricey as well, since you are expected to buy a few coffees and drinks over the day. Also nobody is really motivated get up in the morning to drive to a coffee shop to work from there. But startups and freelancers in Manchester have a fantastic alternative now!
We used the free office on Quay Street in QuayHouse provided by HelloHub. Everyone is welcome to work in the office and the place is free to everyone. You get free high-speed and unlimited internet. Also the office space is fantastically decorated, with great furniture. You not only have a lot of working space, but also areas for group meetings and discussion. Additionally, they have comfortable sofas and chairs to relax and lay back. The doors of the office are open from 7:30am to 6pm. However, you can stay even longer if you don’t leave the building after 6pm. Yet the best thing is that you get a free coffee every day!
The co-working office works on a first-come-first-serve basis, so everyone has the same change to get a desk and you don’t need to register online or book a desk in advance. However, you should not worry about finding space, since they have more than enough desks and chairs. You can come as often as you want to the office, so HelloHub does not limit the days you want to work. In order to be insured and to value the office you should login every day at the terminal and tell them that you are there.
So who is behind the free office space in Manchester?
HelloHub is only one project of the Hello group, a business backed by the property investment company Allied London. They currently test various concepts which they call Hello Work, Hello Innovation, Hello Workspace, Hello Studios and Hello Hub. Hello Work is the community and work force behind Hello which powers and runs the offices. Hello innovation are super-buildings that can accommodate any organisation, of any size and create inspiring workspace cultures. So far only one Hello innovation building in London on 10 Back Hill in Farringdon is planned. Hello Workspace are large spaces, more than 5000 sq ft, which have been renovated to suit new ways of working for bigger organisation. If you don’t need more than 5000 sq ft, you might be interested in Hello Studio which are small and creative office spaces. Finally, Hello Hub is the open co-working project. On their website they describe their vision for the future of co-working space:
“The future of workspace design is an office that can be plugged in, set up, then logged out of and packed away the same day. The future of working is bouncing ideas back and forth between like-minded individuals in a bright, modern space. It’s open to the public and provides the perfect conditions for creativity and productivity to grow.”
That is certainly a great vision and will help the UK startup and freelancer scene to flourish and grow. We have already benefitted greatly from HelloHubs and it would have been a lot harder for us without HelloHub in Manchester. Also it’s hard to find similar office space in other cities and countries. When we were looking for an office in Berlin, we were searching unsuccessfully for similar office space.