A shared working space for entrepreneurs and businesses called Ealing Blueprint is being trialled for five months in West Ealing.
This new business hub, in Drayton Green Road, was set up in empty premises by Ealing Council in partnership with Chat & Meet coffee shop. The plan is to help freelancers and small businesses grow by providing a flexible and accessible place to work on the high street and thereby reducing their financial commitments to buying or leasing long-term office space.
The enterprise will also aim to bring together a diverse range of businesses under one roof, providing somewhere for entrepreneurs and start-up businesses to network and share ideas. People with different skills will get the opportunity to work collaboratively, hopefully helping to stimulate local business opportunities and ventures.
Ealing Blueprint opened its doors last week, offering free membership to those wanting to try it out. Members have access to Wi-Fi, discounted drinks from a café set up inside the building, a meeting room and event space to hire, and the chance to attend networking and training events that will be held at the site.
If it proves to be a success after five months, the new hub may continue. The pilot scheme came about after a study carried out in 2013 to explore whether such a venture would meet a local need. Funding was provided by the government’s High Street Innovation and Riot Recovery Fund.
Councillor Julian Bell, leader of the council, said: “Town centre regeneration is not just about supporting already established businesses. Traditional ways of working are changing and West Ealing is an ideal location to test a business hub while supporting the large creative community we have in Ealing.”