By May 22, 2012 Read More →

Starting a coworking space

Coworking space for Eastbourne

Stuart & Laura Lambert, CoHub, EastbourneStuart and Laura Lambert are planning to open a coworking space in their home town of Eastbourne, and last week organised the first Eastbourne Jelly, which attracted over 20 attendees:

Hi Stuart and Laura, what’s your family situation?
We’ve been married for 4 years, have a 2 1/2 year old son, Ben, with plans to add a brother or sister for him soon!

What were you both doing when you came up with the idea of a coworking space for Eastbourne?
We currently run a small company called Qology, which helps contact centres provide a decent customer experience when they are busy – basically, it removes the need to wait on hold listening to terrible music!
With Laura only working 2 days a week Stuart is often in the office alone, which can be lonely, unproductive and not helpful when arriving at dead ends in my thought process. Researching others with these same issues led me to stumble across videos about coworking spaces in the US.

And what are you doing now?
We are still running Qology and that is Stuart’s main focus. The process of setting up CoHub is adding another dimension and also allowing us to develop a wider network of business contacts and friends in our home town of Eastbourne.

What kind of space do you have your eye on?
We decided very early on that we needed a centrally located building. We thought that parking would be important, but in fact the location was top of everybody’s list of priorities when we held a workshop with potential members. Our favourite location is right by Eastbourne railway station and close to a lot of great coffee shops and restaurants.

How much work is there to do on the building?
Our current favourite is a former printworks currently undergoing extensive redevelopment – and it needs it! The landlords are local and really keen on the building giving something back to the neighbourhood as it has stood empty or mainly derelict for several years. They are bought into the idea of coworking and it fits well with other potential tenants in the building.

We hear a lot about the lack of finance available to small business. How are you financing this?
We are financing the project from personal funds. We have heard the same regarding the availability of finance, but we have never experienced it personally. Our bank, HSBC, have always been very supportive and provided the working capital we have needed to grow our main company, Qology.

What are your ambitions?
We’re focusing very much on Eastbourne at the moment and so I guess our short term ambition is to build a sustainable, privately funded coworking space that our members enjoy and benefit from using as their place of work.

Do you get any time off at the moment? If so, how do you relax and recharge?
We spend as much time as we can enjoying each other’s company, hanging out with friends and family, including VERY regular BBQs in our garden when the weather permits – it’s our favourite way of cooking!

Thanks, Stuart and Laura,and good luck with your plans for Cohub and for many more successful Jellys.

Posted in: Coworking

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