Co-working becomes ‘pro-working’ as high-spec shared office space is officially opened

May 10, 2019

Bristol’s first office building dedicated to ‘pro-working’ has been officially opened as competition in the shared workspace market intensifies.

Origin Workspace says Phase 1 of its £9m renovation of the former Bristol office of international property consultancy JLL office at 40 Berkeley Square, Clifton, brings a new form of upmarket co-working to the city.

Origin, the brainchild of fitness training entrepreneur Heather Frankham, has transformed the 42,000 sq ft building into a hub for entrepreneurs, start-ups and scale-ups seeking higher specification workspace than other co-working spaces. This includes a wellness centre, members’ lounge and roof terraces.

Opening with 85% capacity, Origin Workspace has members from a diverse range of sectors, including recruitment, digital marketing, law, edu-tech, financial services and AI & robotics.

These include Bud Systems, an apprenticeship management platform, Cook Corporate, a boutique law firm, and Flexology, a recruitment agency that specialises in professional part-time and flexible working roles.

Head of Origin Workspace, Rob Hingston – who has overseen the transformation of the building – said: “There is a shortage in the Bristol market for office space that can accommodate growing businesses and so we’ve shaped Origin to respond to this need. We designed Origin Workspace so businesses can start, grow and scale with us.”

Heather Frankham’s concept for Origin Workspace is to provide a community, counsel and support in one place. Speaking at last night’s official launch, she said she had found hard to access just that in the early stages of building her first business, Lifetime Training.

She sold and exited the business in 2016, by which point it was the UK’s number one apprenticeship and skills training provider and employed more than 1,000 staff.

Heather said: “It took me many years to build my first company because I began with zero connections. I’ve now gone through every stage in the lifecycle of a business from a sole trader start-up, to scale-up, to a market-leading business.

“My goal with Origin Workspace is to create a collaborative space where businesses can start and grow in a supportive environment. Our collective vision is to help tomorrow’s business talent succeed with all facilities, advice, support and experience on tap to provide the best possible start.”

When Phase 2 is completed by the end of the year, Origin Workspace will have the capacity for 400 members who can chose different types of membership including lounge, hot desk, dedicated desks and private office space. Meeting rooms and event spaces are also available to hire. An active events programme is open to non-members.

Research by JLL published last November said a fifth of all office space let in Bristol in 2018 – around 120,000 sq ft – was likely to be used for a new generation of flexible co-working hubs as the move towards new forms of business accommodation gathered pace.

The official opening ceremony included a ribbon cutting with the Lord-Lieutenant of Bristol Peaches Goulding, pictured below, with Origin Workspace founder Heather Frankham.

Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across Bristol for just £120 a month. Email for more information.