Shared workplace scheme launches in Richmond

Two Richmond companies have joined forces to launch a new project to encourage local businesses to work, collaborate and socialise in a unique “co-working” office community.

Although shared workspaces are becoming increasingly popular in city regions, this is a first for Richmond.

But those behind Work Meet Play say the scheme have a very different philosophy and ethos to the traditional, “rent a desk” large city complexes.

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Its founders are keen to build a true community of local business people and entrepreneurs who can exchange ideas, learn from each other, have fun, and grow their businesses as a result.

Work Meet Play is the brainchild of Richmond’s thecitysecret academy, who offer a wide range of technology-based training to UK-wide organisations, and of locally-based entrepreneur Chris Lees of Serendipity 29 who uses behavioural analysis and data to produce highly efficient and productive workplaces globally.

Both these organisations have achieved national success from their rural North Yorkshire bases and believe passionately that most great business achievements and best ideas happen when people work together and collaborate.

Sophie Hazell, director of thecitysecret, said: “From our regular informal tech meet-ups and IT-based training courses, we’re aware many small business owners feel isolated and would benefit from the company of trusted “colleagues” in a friendly, supportive environment.

“Our regular Friday Work Meet Play will be based right in the centre of Richmond at our spacious, light, offices in Zetland Square, close to cafes, restaurants, parks and the river.

“You can choose the space you wish to use, along with additional computer equipment.

“There’s free tea and coffee all day and we’ll be encouraging people to socialise – in between working too of course.”

Chris Lees, from Serendipity 29, added: “I know from experience that the most creative, ground-breaking and successful schemes usually come from the unplanned collision of ideas – a chat by the water-cooler or a quick conversation over a sandwich.

“Many business owners working on their own can’t make themselves available for these opportunities and they’re truly missing out.

“With Work Meet Play we want to offer these chances, along with good company, support and a sense of community to small organisations all over the Richmond, Darlington and Northallerton areas on a once per week basis. Who knows what it might bring?”

Anyone who wishes to come along to Work Meet Play for a day, can do so free of charge for their first visit.

Opening times are 8.30am to 5.30pm.

Normal cost is £20 per day.

For more information, or to book, please go to: or call Sophie on 01748 824735 or Chris on 07773 770737.