PLANS for ‘Network’, Southampton’s new flexible work space, have been unveiled at a hard hat tour of the site on the second floor of the Marlands shopping centre.
Stakeholders and key influencers from the further and higher education, creative and digital technology and Business sectors attended the event to find out what the collaborative co-working space will offer to occupiers.
Denise Edghill, associate director for Economic Development and Skills at Southampton City Council addressed the visitors alongside council leader Christopher Hammond, the Marlands general manager, Tim Keeping, and entrepreneur Tom Barnett.
The speakers outlined how Network will support creative, digital and knowledge based entrepreneurs.
Denise said: “Co-working environments are well established in cities such as London and Manchester and it’s imperative that we provide a fit for purpose flexible space in order for this growth industry sector to continue to thrive in Southampton. Network will deliver exactly that.”
Southampton City Council is making a £1.5m capital investment in the project.
In addition, Ellandi, the asset managers of The Marlands is funding the cost of a new entrance from Portland Terrace, installing new lifts and replacing windows to the 12,500 sq ft second floor space.
Network will be ready for occupation in January 2019, with the official opening in February.
Jonathan Robson, asset management director at Ellandi said: “We are delighted to be working closely in partnership with Southampton City Council to deliver this innovative co-working environment in what will be a leading example of re-purposing retail accommodation within Community Shopping Centres.”
Caroline Barfoot, head of employability and student enterprise at Solent University said: “This is a really exciting development for the city. Creative Businesses flourish here and it will be great for them to have such a new and exciting space to work in.”
Chair of the Web Science Institute Advisory Board at the University of Southampton, Tom Barnett, said: “This is a fantastic first step for Southampton towards building a meaningful network that can support emerging enterprises that can tackle the rapid changes we are facing today.”
Source : DailyEcho