Demand for co-working space sees record growth as concept spreads to regions

Demand for flexible workspace across the UK grew in 2017. Pictured Joe Gaunt, managing director of co-working space provider WeWork.

Demand for flexible workspace across the UK saw record growth in 2017, according to new research.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Co-working 2018 report reveals the UK’s largest cities, including Leeds, saw growth in the take-up of space for co-working, as the trend for flexible workspaces spread well beyond the capital for the first time.

The increase was largely driven by the rapid expansion of WeWork and Spaces, which were responsible for more than half of the year’s take-up of co-working space across the UK.

Ross Firth, senior surveyor in Cushman & Wakefield’s office agency team in Leeds, said: “Leeds, like many regional markets has seen occupiers’ demands change. Flexibility of lease terms, accessibility, functionality and the attraction and retention of staff are now all key factors for the present day occupier. The co-working option ticks many of the boxes.

“Traditional serviced office providers such as Regus have always had a good presence in Leeds. However, up until recently Leeds was void of contemporary co-working space.”

Cushman & Wakefield recently completed a deal with co-working operator Our Space for 12,748 sq ft at Fore Partnership’s Yorkshire House and Yorkshire Hub on Greek Street in Leeds.

Meanwhile, Bruntwood has introduced its new co-working concept at the recently completed Platform scheme, directly above Leeds train station. WeWork is also understood to be looking to acquire space in the city.

Mr Firth added: “Those co-working operators wishing to grab a piece of the action in Leeds will need to strike quickly, as Leeds is a fraction of the size of London and whilst demand for small suites on flexible and affordable terms is certainly present, Leeds could see an oversaturation of operators, given the smaller market place.”

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