Indieworx Collective is a coworking space and innovation hub in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. We opened in November 2018 and now have 30 members from all sorts of sectors; from designers and writers, to yoga teachers, to internet of things and artificial intelligence experts! We're looking for support as we grow, with more space needed to fulfil our dreams of supporting young people with digital skills and building on our existing links with local universities to offer high quality education up to degree level in the centre of Harrogate.
What is Indieworx Collective?
Indieworx Collective is a social enterprise which works with the business and startup community locally to support them with desk space, events, business support workshops and mentoring. We’re all about being ethical and open, helping the community grow into a thriving business hub, supporting local charities and creatives as well as tech and digital businesses. We want to support people are they grow their businesses from idea, to launch and then beyond, hopefully starting the big companies of the future.
We are working with mostly early stage startups that will be playing a part in the future of Harrogate's economic success, as well as freelancers and small established businesses looking to move out of their spare rooms and into a fun, laid back office environment.
At Indieworx Collective, we encourage businesses to support one another with peer-led workshops, regular events and socials to encourage a culture of sharing and growing. Using a mixture of open plan offices, village green and breakout areas, meeting rooms and private offices, we’ve built a space where people come to work hard, to socialise, to find a supporter, a mentor, someone to help with their issue and find working solutions to their problems.
We also want to support young people in the town by running coding clubs aimed at teaching them real digital skills which will set them up for the jobs of the future. We're currently only educating 1 in 20 young people with the technical and digital skills they will need for the jobs of the future. Innovation hubs like Indieworx Collective are a fantastic environment to encourage those that might not want to go to university, giving them the expertise they need to start in the world of work with the talents that employers are looking for.
The space we’re in is a former shop which had been empty for a number on months. Just out of the town centre and close to rail and bus links as well as having its own car park, we’ve taken a place which was going unloved and unused and turned it into a fun creative hub which has already welcomed Taylor’s of Harrogate and Light Start Apps to run brainstorming events and design workshops here.
We’re working with Leeds Beckett University who will be running business development workshops designed to take people from initial idea through to starting and running their own business.
Why was Indieworx Collective set up?
IndieworX Collective was born of the frustration of not finding suitable environments to work in, whether noisy cafes having too many distractions or poor WiFi coverage out of the house, or simply struggling to have valid communication with anyone other than the cat for days at a time when working from a home office.
Indieworx Collective was also created to help develop and grow the economy. Every morning, our clever and hardworking professionals jump in their cars and on the train and go to Leeds, York and Manchester. Trying to lure new colleagues over to Harrogate from these places can be a real challenge. For those of us with kids that live in Harrogate, it doesn’t feel like there’s much opportunities for them here as they enter the workforce.
In 2017, Harrogate Borough Council put out their Economic Growth Strategy. This discussed the need for more office space, with Harrogate losing 21% of its office space since 2013. We hope to overcome some of the challenges that were laid out in this document including:
Below average workplace earnings
Daily export of many high earning residents
Limited supply of good quality modern office space in the appropriate locations
Indieworx Collective is meeting these challenges by supplying a space in which businesses can start, develop and grow, supported by key learnings from their peers, with events and workshops, and with tailored support from a team of experienced business leaders.
Why are you crowdfunding?
The unexpected loss of expected grant funding of £12,500 has meant that we are now seeking local support in getting through the first 12 months. We are looking for support from £5 up to £5000 to support our aims. The money will be used to give us working capital, supporting the growth of the company as we welcome more members through the door. We’re very lucky to have low overheads and this means that more of the money that we make can be reinvested into the space to keep it a vibrant and interesting place to work.
There’s also a whole floor going unused currently. The plan is to turn it into an innovation hub, running programmes which help the local community and beyond with disruptive digital and tech. Extra funding will also help us to get this open and our programme of innovation activities started sooner.