After two years of planning and four weeks of action, we have launched our new business lounge as we start a new year.
Weatherill House was a new provision for Start-up businesses back in 2013 when a ‘State of the art’ building was launched to support Croydon’s new business community. Unfortunately, there were some errors in the design of the ground floor space from the get-go as the reception area faced the wrong way and visitors were always a little confused by the entrance.
I had visited Weatherill House as far back as 2013 when I worked at Croydon Chamber of commerce, and although the décor was clean and the furniture new and shiny, the space lacked warmth and the ‘waiting area’, as it was called, was not used for anything but that.
I joined StartUp Croydon as CEO during the pandemic, and my team & I set about considering our bounce-back plan and how we could refill the 40 offices that we rent to small businesses. We carried out a SWOT analysis of our current offering, and there were obvious strengths, such as our location being so close to the tram station, our secure parking and our proximity to Purley Way. Our facilities include showers, bike racks, free use of meeting rooms, and in-house business mentoring.
Our weakness included a lack of community – that was it.
The team had never managed to create well attended events or create a sense of community, and post-pandemic, we know that is what people want from their work space more than anything.
As far back as February 202, I knew redeveloping and redesigning the business lounge would be crucial to the success of our venture. The ‘right’ environment is so important for success, and especially now that we can all work from our laptops anywhere, we needed our space to offer more than just a private office.
Working closely with the design team at IRS to come up with a solution that incorporated everything business owners need, plus finding the funding and getting permissions took a huge amount of. However, having all that time to plan the project down to the last detail meant the actual work was completed from start to finish in only four weeks. We stayed open throughout, and my team did incredibly well to maintain services at Weatherill House through some very noisy drilling and hammering.
As you can see from the photos, we now have the most incredible business lounge and building to be proud of. The transformation is really quite something but pays homage to our history in the borough with wall-sized photographs of the Whitgift Centre and the flyover taken back in the 60s, now recreated as colourful full-length graphics bringing personality and life to our lounge.
- The lounge includes:
- Collaboration space to meet up with colleagues who work from different locations
- Private pods for video calls or confidential 1-2-1s
- A dining area for teams to have some downtime together
- A hot drinks vending machine
- An additional 12 seater quiet co-working room
If you are looking for a new space to call your business home and need flexible access, then get in touch to arrange a viewing.
Prices vary from 1 day to full-time access depending on your circumstances.