Southampton City Council invests £1.5m in co-working space for creative, digital and knowledge based businesses

Network

For the first time in Southampton, creative, digital and knowledge based businesses will have an exciting new space to work in, when ‘Network’ opens on the second floor of the Marlands Shopping Centre in early 2019.

The contemporary open plan floorspace will offer members flexible new shared co-working space, giving entrepreneurs the freedom to work in a collaborative environment, which will include a welcoming reception and meeting rooms.

Southampton City Council is making a £1.5m capital investment in the project. In addition, Ellandi, the asset managers of The Marlands and the UK’s leading manager of Community Shopping Centres, are investing to create a new dedicated entrance from Portland Terrace, installing new lifts and replacing windows to the 12,500 sq ft second floor space.

Knowledge-based co-workers looking to create, collaborate and scale up their business operations are being provided with a platform to develop their business ideas at this city centre location. The centre will be managed by a third party organisation with extensive experience in managing co-working space.

The city’s thriving digital tech business has recently been valued in Tech Nation Report as having increased turnover in this sector by 41% since 2014 and having a value of £2.1bn. The sector has created an estimated 29,567 jobs in the city, which is the home to the world-leading Web Science Institute. The CBRE Creative Regions report 2017 ranked Southampton in 12th position of 25 regional creative locations compared to Newcastle (13th), Nottingham (14th), Sheffield (15th), Liverpool, Milton Keynes (17th), and Cardiff (20th) and Portsmouth (21st). Unlike these cities, Southampton has lacked a co-working space until now so Network will address this need locally.

Leader of Southampton City Council, Councillor Christopher Hammond said: “There is so much to be proud of in Southampton and I am really excited about the contribution that Network will make towards unlocking entrepreneurial talent. It promises to be a really attractive and convenient co-working space that will support and retain local talent and attract entrepreneurs to Southampton, which will benefit everyone locally.”

“Through investment and regeneration, the council is providing conveniently located, modern and affordable space in the heart of the city. Network will offer competitively priced, flexible membership and facilities that are tailored to the needs of creative, digital and knowledge based businesses, ensuring that we are defining the future economy.”

Asset Management Director at Ellandi, Jonathan Robson commented: “Ellandi is delighted to be working closely with Southampton City Council to deliver this creative co-working space at The Marlands. Our partnership is delivering an innovative concept that is a leading example of re-purposing retail accommodation. Its location is perfectly placed in the heart of the city centre to take advantage of public transport services, the range of nearby restaurants, bars and retail outlets, the new Cultural Quarter and the residential offer that is developing in the city centre.”

It’s great to see Southampton and Ellandi leading the way with what is becoming a national shift in the composition of our city centres."

Read more on the Network development page.