A festival celebrating local businesses in Swansea, Denbighshire, and the Vale of Glamorgan has marked the growth of an innovative project that brings flexible workspace to high streets, community spaces, and venues across the regions.
As part of the Cowork Local Project, the three-day festival will run from June 21 through 23 and will see venues open their doors to coworking, whilst showcasing local role models with a series of lunchtime talks from founders and leaders including Tiny Rebel’s Chief Financial Officer, Hannah Williams.
The festival offers free access to the Cowork Local spaces for its duration, with catering by a variety of local businesses and a series of lunchtime talks with entrepreneurs and experts from the area.
The festival is a part of what will be a long-term opportunity for local people to work closer to home, helping them reduce their commute, escape the isolation of working from home, and join a collaborative community of like-minded people.
The Cowork Local project was pioneered by coworking and business support experts Town Square Spaces Ltd (TownSq), whose research found that 85% of people want to commit to working closer to home sometime in the future. With this in mind, it’s hoped that allowing more people to work within their communities will increase footfall in shops, cafes, and businesses, injecting new life into local economies.
Forty venues are already up and running, ranging from scenic B&B’s and golf clubs to local pubs and historical sites, and the team expect to double the number of venues in the near future.
“We’re so proud to have kicked off Cowork Local with the Festival of Coworking to engage with the small business community and convey what the project is all about. Local enterprise is a key part of the economic landscape here and it’s a privilege to be connecting local venues with the thriving business community,” said co-founder and CEO of TownSq, Gareth Jones.
“Our mission is to create more options for people to work flexibly and championing entrepreneurship is at the core of everything we do. As a B-Corp, we have a commitment to sustainably improving the local economies, communities, and opportunities available in all of the places we work – and Cowork Local is a big part of that.
“This ethos of enabling communities is the driver behind Cowork Local. Through providing practical workspaces in the heart of the region, we hope that the wider impact will see more people buying lunch or shopping from nearby stores, business owners collaborating and networking, and a flourishing startup scene emerging to boost the economy and bring people closer together,” added Jones.
The Cowork Local venues available to work from across the three regions are:
Vale of Glamorgan
Bonvilston Reading Rooms
Castleland Community Centre
Dinas Powys Library
GVS Illtud House
Glamorganshire Golf Club
St Bridget’s Farmhouse
St Paul’s Community Centre
The Clock Yard @ Rowleys
The Old School
The Red Lion
The Roost on Rock Road
The Six Bells
The Three Horseshoes
The Tudor Tavern
HQ Urban Kitchen
Limitless Activity Centre
Menter Iaith Abertawe
St Mary’s Church
The Phoenix Centre
Space at No. 88
Capel Hermon Business Centre
Eirianfa Community Centre
Ffordlas Community Centre
Glan Llyn Inn
St Collen’s Community Hall
The Old Schoolroom
Cowork Local is funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.
Town Square Spaces Ltd (TownSq)
TownSq creates communities across the UK that foster the creation and growth of enterprise through collaboration, support and leadership. The business operates hubs in London, North & South Wales, Oxfordshire, West Sussex and Devon, and can support people from an idea right through to founding, investment and growth. It runs Startup Club, an after-work support program to help people who want to start a business but are unable to quit their job, as well as TownSq Accelerator, to fast track businesses that are aiming to grow quickly.
The UK Community Renewal Fund
The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/