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Flexible workspaces to give £12 billion boost to local economies

Flexible workspaces are set to contribute billions of pounds to local economies in the UK over the next 10 years, claims Regus.

A new study of second-city and suburban workspaces commissioned by the workspace provider shows that the on-going migration of flexible office space to the outskirts of major UK cities is creating a ‘flex economy’ that could contribute more than £12 billion to local economies over the next decade.

The report states that flexible workspaces benefit local economies through job creation (an average of 231 jobs wherever a co-working space is opened) and an uplift in Gross Value Added (GVA), the value of goods and services produced in an area.

The study found that an average co-working centre in the UK will generate £20 billion GVA each year by 2029, of which over £12 billion will go directly into the local economy.

This comes from a combination of ‘the sandwich economy’; improved career and earning prospects for residents, including those that might not be able to commute to major cities due to caring responsibilities or a disability; and more business being done locally by flexible workspace users.

Mark Dixon, CEO of Regus parent company IWG, said: “When people commute into major cities, their wallets commute with them. What this study shows is that providing more opportunities for people to work closer to home can have a tremendous effect, not just on them, but on their local area too.”

He added: “Businesses also recognise the benefits and we are seeing increasing demand from companies of all sizes for flexible space in smaller cities and towns. Larger businesses are opting for a ‘hub and spoke’ real estate model. At the same time, smaller enterprises want to cluster and collaborate, and so choose flexible workspaces to be near other businesses.”


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