New shared workspace for kindred creative spirits

Union St tenants Mark and Jon - two of the directors of social enterprise architecture practice Studio Polpo.
Union St tenants Mark and Jon - two of the directors of social enterprise architecture practice Studio Polpo.
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A not-for-profit architectural practise, a fashion label, a water and sanitation charity and a music producer are some of the kindred creative spirits who will be side by side in a new low-cost co-working building opening in Sheffield next month.

“We open on September 1 but we already have a really interesting group of tenants signed up,” says Felicity Hoy, director of social enterprise Common People and a 50 per cent partner in Union Street, a previously empty city centre 4-storey building aiming to unite innovative, creative and socially enterprising individuals and organisations.

“People will be able to access low-cost, flexible co-working. This is a direct response to the huge shift from employment to self-employment in the city. We hope it will radically change the way people work, meet and collaborate.”

The workspace, opposite Howden House, has been created through a partnership between Common People and fellow city social enterprise CADS, plus Sheffield’s universities.

It is the first of its kind in Sheffield and will provide space for start-ups and independent businesses looking to escape the isolation of working from home.

Nationally, the number of people co-working increasing by 245 people per day. Yorkshire has seen 34,000 new self-employed since the recession,

Tenants include Angga Kara, founder of international clothing label, Hantu Collective, Liam O’Shea, of Mixed in Sheffield, The Long Well Walk, a Sheffield charity planning a world record walk to Cape Town to raise awareness for water and sanitation issues in East Africa, and Studio Polpo, a social enterprise architecture practice which works with charities.

Sheffield Buddhist Centre will be staging meditation classes there and space will be used as a ‘shop window’ for Sheffield University’s’ School of Architecture.