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Co-working space to boost start-ups and ‘put Romford on the map’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 August 2016

Charlotte Trower, Sarah Walters and Lauren Martin of Made Public inside the former nightclub on Market Place

Charlotte Trower, Sarah Walters and Lauren Martin of Made Public inside the former nightclub on Market Place

Archant

Small businesses in the borough are about to be given a boost as a co-working space, which could “put Romford on the map”, has been given the go-ahead.

After months of work, community initiative Made Public has officially secured the lease of the former Hush nightclub, Market Place, Romford, to open The Retailery – a business hub offering work spaces along with support and advice to help start-ups grow.

The space will be used to build a community of businesses able to share skills and resources while offering competitive prices.

“We are absolutely ecstatic. It’s something that Romford doesn’t have,” said Lauren Martin, of Made Public.

Funded by Havering Council and the Mayor’s High Street Fun, the project will see six retails units available to rent for a period of three to six months, hot desking spots as well as conference and meetings rooms to hire.

The Retailery will also offer workshops and networking events and aims to become the heart of a growing community of entrepreneurs in Havering.

“Starting a business can be quite scary and a lonely enterprise. But there is a real driving force to make these businesses succeed,” she explained.

Dozens of businesses have already expressed an interest to work in the space and Made Public is in talks with the Bedfords Park Walled Garden to open a cafe selling homemade soups and snacks, with ingredients grown in the borough.

The empty building needs huge refurbishment before it can be used again but Lauren is hopeful the space will open in October.

“It will be a really clear office space with loads of light for active and creative people. The whole idea is to regenerate Romford through creativity, culture, art and entrepreneurship. There are loads of new possibilities and this could put Romford on the map,” she added.

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