History may look upon this as the age of the entrepreneur, with more and more people turning their back on regular employment to set up on their own.
For many people the coffee house or the kitchen table have become a place of work and pyjamas have replaced the suit and tie. It probably sounds like bliss to anyone currently toiling away in a stuffy office, but working from home can soon lose its novelty and for many people can become an isolating and uninspiring experience.
This was very much the case for the four Bradford-based business owners involved in setting up Assembly Bradford, a creative co-working space in the centre of Bradford. The space – located above Bradford Bakery on Rawson Place, Bradford – is up and running following last month’s launch party, offering affordable desk hire for individuals and small businesses looking to make things, meet people and work in a creative environment.
The directors, David Craig, Martyn Johnston, Matt Lamont and Haigh Simpson, are all involved in the creative industries and have been keen to make it a place where people can come together to share ideas and resources. The concept has already proved itself, with members collaborating on a range of projects and benefiting from each other’s contacts and expertise.
Matt Lamont, also known as Fox Duo Design, said, “Assembly allows me to work with other designers from different disciplines and develop knowledge in other areas of the creative industries. I’m also able to work on projects I wouldn’t have otherwise been introduced to.”
The space itself was designed by one of the Assembly Bradford directors, with David Craig utilising his design skills to create an attractive, purpose-built interior on a shoestring budget.
David said, “I was driven to create a space that reflected my experience of studio culture at design college and architecture practices. A space that fosters collaboration and a sense of community. A place to be social in as well as work. I had seen places like this in Leeds, Manchester, and Sheffield, and wanted something like that in Bradford too. After the isolation of working from home and renting a self-contained office, I realised that this offer simply didn’t exist in Bradford, and if I wanted it I would need to make it happen.”
Around 7 million people in the UK are estimated to work from home, while there are 895 enterprises for every 10,000 adults in Yorkshire and Humberside. That means almost 1 in 10 people in the region are currently running a business.
So how does it work? Members have the option of renting a permanent desk for £140 a month or a hot desk for £7 a day. This includes free tea and coffee, high speed internet, access to a meeting room, and table tennis. The space also houses the HowDo!? Print Shop, meaning members have quick and easy access to a range of print facilities.
Martyn Johnston, director of FACEwy said, “We’re creating an environment that enables new businesses to prosper through peer support and creative energy. The long-term aim is for us – and Bradford – to be recognised as a centre for design and enterprise and a collective approach will allow us to do that.”
There are around 15 members currently working out of Assembly with space for up to 25 people to use the space on a daily basis. The team is keen to attract more members and are encouraging any freelancers, entrepreneurs, and other creative individuals to come along and trial the space during March.