I never intended to start a co-working space, I just used to run a tech company on the second floor of what's now our Clerkenwell building. Over the years I took over more and more of the building as our neighbours moved out, eventually ending up with 5,000sqft of space spread over 4 floors.
I designed and built out most of it myself: we've stripped the building out completely and renovated it, inspired heavily by my time in Berlin's coworking spaces and offices. Lots of wood, plants and character 🌱.
We organically grew into a nice community of teams sharing the building. We don't have regular staff on site, just cleaners and security, and we like teams to treat the space as their own. We have solid, high speed internet (a 10GBps leased fibre line), daily cleaning, organic teas, bean-to-cup coffee, BrewDog beers, printing, stationary, and all the "officy" and adminy things are taken care of.
You just use the space, and pay one fixed monthly fee. Everything's included, and we have a simple 3 month notice for private offices.
I wasn't particularly looking to start a second space, but buildings often come onto my radar. When this one did, there was something about it I liked - it's a modern, super sustainable new-build development, and the landlords were looking specifically for independent businesses. They were keen to have a co-working space amongst them, and asked if we'd open a space at Caxton Works.
We're the only co-working space of our type anywhere near here, and we have a lovely, lively community here - as well as some great independent neighbours -- a nursery, cafe, climbing wall, ice cream maker, dog bakery, bamboo bike makers and arts space.