Final four announced in IPSE’s Co-working Space of the Year

IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed, is delighted to announce that Impact Hub Birmingham, PLATF9RM in Brighton, Clockwise in Glasgow and Liverpool’s Avenue HQ have been shortlisted in the final four of the 2018 Co-working Space of the Year award.

The award – which brings the curtain down on IPSE’s National Freelancers Day 2018 – recognises and celebrates the important role co-working spaces play in creating a nurturing, inclusive and stimulating environment for the UK’s thriving 4.8 million-strong self-employed workforce.

The venues were judged on a range of criteria including the quality of facilities and staff, the innovation, creativity and distinctiveness of their venue, the passion and commitment to their members and the freelancing community, and the price and value of its membership packages.

Chris Bryce, IPSE CEO, commented: “As the self-employed population grows, so does the number and importance of the UK’s co-working spaces. Whether you’re a graphic designer looking for a creative environment, a software developer looking for a supportive workplace, or an author looking for a community, there is one place you turn: co-working spaces.

“From Brighton to Birmingham and Liverpool to Glasgow, our finalists show the strength of the freelance movement across the UK. Each are shining examples of the growing number of creative, collaborative spaces springing up right across the country. The service they provide to freelancers is truly invaluable.

“Many congratulations to Impact Hub Birmingham, PLATF9RM, Clockwise and Avenue HQ for being selected from so many strong candidates in such an important, growing field.”

Impact Hub Birmingham

A short walk from Birmingham’s Bullring, Impact Hub is heavily focused on community and its membership is based on trust. The space offers a work/trade service, with those who cannot afford it giving up their time to help with events at the venue. A mixture of standing desks, small meeting huts, studio space and general hot desks litter the venue. There are three event spaces over various levels – one of which is converted into a creche every Thursday. And to make all members feel welcome and encourage collaboration, a wall near the entrance is adorned by mugs containing a polaroid photo and biography about each of the venue’s occupants.

Nikki Bi, Impact Hub Birmingham Head of Hosting & Programming, added: "We're delighted to learn that Impact Hub Birmingham has made it to the top four of IPSE's Co-working Space of the Year Awards! We are proud of being the home for a community of change makers who, through their work, are helping create and foster a better Birmingham.”

PLATF9RM, Brighton

PLATF9RM is a flexible co-working space providing a creative business environment for freelancers in Brighton since 2016. Located across two floors of Tower Point – one of two locations in the heart of one of the UK’s coolest cities – PLATF9RM is a melting pot of creativity and collaboration. Film-makers, PR agencies, illustrators, charities, accountants, writers, cleaners, graphic designers and even mime artists occupy 24,000 square feet of community-focussed, event-happy co-working space. With relentless growth, oodles of imagination and whispers of a rooftop space hopefully opening next year, PLATF9RM has grand visions of becoming the go-to destination for freelancers on the south coast and beyond.

Seb Royle, PLATF9RM founder, added: “Everyone at PLATF9RM is thrilled to make it through to the final four. Since opening 18 months ago we’ve been on an incredible journey and we’ve got here through the passion of our team and members. Watching our PLATF9RM community grow and thrive is a daily joy and gives us fuel to keep going even when the days are long. We've put our hearts and souls into this place and IPSE’s recognition means we must be doing something right.”

Clockwise, Glasgow

Opened in May 2017, Clockwise was one of the inaugural w co-working spaces in central Glasgow. Now the venue is in the process of expanding the space with an additional two floors to accommodate the sizeable demand. Clockwise offers a variety of spaces to work, from hotdesks to a dedicated desk and fully furnished private offices with 24-hour access. Memberships are based on a flexible monthly rolling contract and come with a benefits package, which includes discounts on leisure, over-night stays, childcare, restaurants and more. Clockwise also host its own events and even have a 5,000 square foot terrace.

Kirsten Hillen, Clockwise Building Manager, added: “The team at Clockwise are delighted that our co-working space has become a finalist in the IPSE Freelancer of the Year Awards 2018. We have all worked so hard to create a space that everyone can enjoy, whether that be a start-up, a small team working together on a project or a large established company.

“Ensuring everyone feels a sense of community matters to us. We are both honoured and proud to be among the other finalists, especially as we are just celebrating our first year in business. We are thankful to our lovely, loyal tenants for choosing us to be their business’ home.” 

Avenue HQ, Liverpool

Avenue HQ is a stunning, glass-fronted co-working space overlooking Liverpool’s historic waterfront designed specifically around the requirements of the local community. Avenue HQ boasts a broad range of member packages from ‘Flex’ membership at £20 per month to private office space for £600. Supported by Eagle Labs – an initiative by Barclays – Avenue HQ hosts up to 200 entrepreneurs and businesses and boasts a maker space to support rapid prototyping for all members. With a diverse calendar of events ranging from quiz nights and pie days to breakfast meet-ups and tester sessions, Avenue HQ provides a work/life balance to fulfil the needs of the city’s growing freelance workforce.

Luke Roberts, Avenue HQ Operations Director, added: “Avenue HQ is delighted to be shortlisted for Co-Working Space of the Year at the IPSE Freelancer of the Year Awards!

“Freelancers and remote workers are so important to the UK economy and are a huge part of why we built our space; to allow people to work in a way that suits them, creating additional opportunities for our members and the wider business community. 

“The nature of work is changing, and our aim is to provide a dynamic environment that increases productivity and innovation. Our culture is focused on providing the best possible facilities and service for members to ensure they can get the most out of their working life. Our team work hard to support and nurture freelancers and remote workers within the space and it's fantastic to be recognised by IPSE.”

The winner will be announced at National Freelancers Day on Thursday 28 June 2018. The biggest day in the freelancing calendar, IPSE’s central event at Kings Place in London will include expert guest speakers, interactive workshops, panel sessions and much more.

For tickets to National Freelancers Day 2018 and more information on the venues, visit the website.