New work hub opens and another expands in Exeter

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Posted on: 21 July 2016

Exeter’s small business community has received a boost with the opening of a new work hub and the expansion of another.

Devon work hubs, which is supported by Devon County Council, is a growing community of friendly and flexible work spaces, perfect for home-based and mobile workers, business start-ups, freelancers and entrepreneurs.

The Generator, which opened in Dix’s Field almost four years ago to provide creative types Jim Strongand other freelancers with an alternative to conventional offices,   recently opened a second location by the Quay.

The work hub, in Kings Wharf, is run by serial entrepreneurs Neil Finnie, Jim Strong and James Meilton and offers work space for up to 60 people.

James Meilton said: “The open space is a great way to keep the social aspect of working alive. For those who need a little privacy, there is a glass conference room. We encourage people to try open plan spaces, as our current users will agree that it makes them more productive, happier and improves their work life.

“Where the Quay differs is that it is more suitable for small teams, due to the layout. The co-working space we offer both at Dix’s Field and the Quay is for any entrepreneur or team. Currently we have people from a range of industries including web designers, illustrators, architects, accountants and consultants.”

A new co-working space, TechExeter, has also recently opened. Based in Southernhay, the hub is specifically aimed at small start-up businesses in the technology sector.

TechExeter offers a mobile device library, bookshelf of technical manuals and a calm, distraction-free working space.

Kris Sum, co-founder of TechExeter said: “We’ve created a space that not only has great facilities for people to rent, but one that actively supports those who work in the tech industry, whether they are software developers, data analysts or web start-ups. We’ve got a hacker space for developing hardware prototypes, shelves of tech books, a lightning-fast network, plus I’m on hand to answer any technical queries.”

TechExeter now run regular meetups on a huge range of topics including engineering, computing and data science, with a pool of members including professionals from the Met Office, FlyBe, Crowdcube and the University of Exeter.

Both the Generator and TechExeter are run by local business people and provide inexpensive short term office accommodation with all the technology that modern businesses need.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member Cllr Andrew Leadbetter2responsible for Economy and Growth, said:

“Devon’s economy relies a great deal on small, sometimes home-based businesses. These small businesses help make the county vibrant, prosperous and an attractive place for other businesses to relocate.

“Work hubs like the Generator and TechExeter will help many of these small businesses make the leap from garden shed to modern office facilities. They are inspiring spaces enabling individuals and businesses to meet others in similar circumstances and share ideas and make new contacts. Our existing network of work hubs is really popular and I am looking forward to hearing from organisations who want to work with us to build on that success.”

Posted in: Business and Economy