Shrewsbury is well on the way to becoming a “coworking capital” with dozens of different spaces available for flexible working in the town centre. 

Backed by the ARG Economic Recovery Programme through Shropshire Council, which provided grants for providers to expand their offering, coworking space is now flourishing in Shrewsbury. 

A number of coworking businesses have been recipients of the grant funding, including Maddox & Co on Butcher Row, Wellmeadow Consulting in Roushill and Share Space in Mardol. 

Share Space in Mardol

Elaine Nester, owner of Share Space, said demand was growing from a variety of business sectors. 

“Members are a mix of remote workers and entrepreneurs from businesses including Human Resources, finance, quantity surveying, film-making, media and marketing,” she said. 

“People have various flexi packages, from one day up to eight days a month, and use the space for diverse purposes including job interviews, training and virtual meetings. We were delighted to have received a grant towards our setting up expenses which has allowed the fit-out to be to a very high standard.” 

The reception area at Share Space.

Wellmeadow Consulting on Roushill has offered coworking space since it took over the offices in 2014. Now, with the benefit of grant funding, the offices have been remodelled and expanded, with the capacity expanded to 18 desks in total.

David Parry, managing director of Wellmeadow, said: “This is where the grant system works really well. It has enabled us to improve the county’s infrastructure by increasing coworking capacity in Shrewsbury, in a much more effective and professional way than we would have been able to do otherwise. 

“The existing coworkers here are delighted with the changes and we are looking forward to welcoming more people in as we all get used to this new way of hybrid working.”

David Parry in Wellmeadow

David Parry in the Wellmeadow offices.

Maddox & Co, established by Anthony Walters and James Lloyd, who both run businesses based in Shrewsbury, is a new venue opening on Butcher Row in June. 

The workspace will have capacity of up to 40 people with meeting rooms, Zoom booths and a kitchen/bar break out area. 

Anthony said: “We’ve been running a small informal co-working venue called Lipstick and Freelance for a few years. The Economic Recovery Programme grant has enabled us to establish a larger venue with more dedicated facilities and a new online booking platform. 

“Maddox & Co will have the same relaxed vibe which made Lipstick and Freelance so popular, it’s just a little more tailor-made for co-working, and we’ve given it a shiny new name to match.” 

Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID, said giving people greater opportunities to work in the town centre was beneficial to Shrewsbury as a whole. 

“The range of places offering coworking has grown significantly over the past few years as demand for more flexible working opportunities has increased,” he said. 

“We want Shrewsbury to become something of a coworking capital, and the support of Shropshire Council through the Economic Recovery Programme is a welcome boost to help more coworking spaces get off the ground.”