New £1m Belfast co-working space aimed at growing local entrepreneurship

The new £1m co-working space at Arthur House in Belfast
Gareth McKeown

A NEW innovative £1 million co-working space has opened in Belfast aimed at promoting further entrepreneurship in the north.

Family-owned Glandore officially opened the new space at Arthur House yesterday and the flexible office will provide desk space for up to 70 members. The new space, on the 5th floor of Arthur House, will also be available for social and networking events and meetups.

It is Glandore's eighth office location on the island of Ireland, with more than 2,500 desks in Belfast and Dublin.

The concept, in Northern Ireland for 12 years, is aimed at startup entrepreneurs, small businesses and FDI companies taking their first steps into Northern Ireland. They will hope to follow the example of international companies such as Worldpay, Rapid 7, Facebook, Twitter and Dropbox who started their Irish operations in Glandore workspace, while overseas investors such as Tullet Prebon, Cayan, Bamboo Rose and Bazaarvoice are among the current or former members of its offices in Belfast.

It is estimated that as many of four million people worldwide will be co-working by 2020 from more than 14,000 spaces and Glandore founder, Michael Kelly said demand for space in Belfast is only increasing.

"By opening this fantastic new space we are now able to offer the full spectrum of office accommodation to our members, from one part time desk right through to offices for 70 people," he said.

“We know from experience that long-term leases don't work for some fast-growing companies who want speed to market with minimal risk and upfront costs. For many of them, whether they are local entrepreneurs or the first staff from an international company that has set up here, a vibrant co-working space is more desirable than sitting alone in an office.”

"As a family business, our aim is to give our members the very best start to their operations but also enable them to achieve their growth ambitions. From the quality of the working environment and service, our holistic wellness programme to the unique networking events for our members and alumni, we strive to support the growth and success of our member companies," Mr Kelly added.

One of the most recent member companies to join Glandore in Belfast is US tech company SmashFly, which provides marketing automation software for recruiters. Head of human resources and business operations at the firm, Sinead Kelly said the flexibility that Glandore provides is a major plus.

"We're all about people and making connections which is why Glandore's exciting new space and events programme is the ideal environment for us to engage with other members and companies of all sizes."

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