A group of local business owners have joined forces to launch a co working hub for freelancers, homeworkers, start ups and the self employed. Based in the former ‘That’s Entertainment’ unit in The Forum Shopping Centre. Co-llective, a not-for-profit group, are providing desk space, fast Wi-Fi and coffee, for people to work, collaborate and build a community. The new venture launched on Monday 2nd March.
‘We’ve all experienced how isolating working from home can get. Even in coffee shops, you rarely build relationships with other people and feel like you’re unfairly taking up space for customers. We were keen to have somewhere to get work done that simulated an office, but with some cool aspects too: like events, workshops and Friday beers.’ said Oban Jones , Co-llective founder and co-owner of ODIStudios.
Co-llective are leaning into the 90’s chic vibe of the large space, with its tiled blue carpet, mix of chairs and strip lighting. Two local artists are due to start work on large wall murals at the end of March, Co-llective are keen to hear from artist wanting to display their own work.
‘We’re going to create a really interesting, dynamic space, and hopefully people will enjoy coming on the journey with us. We’ve only been open a few days, but we’ve added chalkboard paint, got our House Rules up and had great conversations with people about their ideas and feedback – we’re super receptive because we want to become a go-to resource for Chester people, that delivers what they’re looking for.’
As well as it’s ideal location, Co-llective offers affordable rates. £7 a day, £5 after 12pm and £3 after 3pm. All rates include unlimited tea and coffee. They’re also trialling a dog-friendly set up, the success of which will rely on well-behaved, friendly dogs.
‘We appreciate that a lot of homeworkers, ourselves included, have dogs, so we really want to allow people to bring them along. But we’ll also have to be quite strict to ensure dogs don’t disrupt or put off others – everything is an experiment at the moment, and it might take us a while to strike the right balance on a lot of things: music volume, temperature, coffee strength etc. but we’ll get there, with the support of the community.’ said Gemma Glover , Co-llective founder and Amble’s Editor In Chief.
Their launch week has been sponsored by local businesses: Just Footprints, Sweet Elements, Crustum and PicNic, who’ve donated coffee and pastries to incentive locals to get behind Co-llective and try it out. To celebrate the first paid week, w/c 9th March, complimentary beer (from That Beer Place) and wine will be offered towards the end of each day. Co-llective are keen to create strong links with Chester Market and Northgate businesses.
Co-llective is open Monday-Friday, 8:45am-5:30pm. Bookings can be made over email – firstname.lastname@example.org, through the website – https://www.chestercollective.com/ or in person, and currently it’s cash only, with a card machine planned for April.
You can contact Co-llective via Twitter and Facebook (CollectiveCH1) and Instagram (@chestercollective).