Hot Desks | Freelancer or the Brains?

Whether you’re a footloose freelancer or the brains behind a tech start-up, you can have a cool Clerkenwell base without being tied to an office. Here Isabel Hope-Urwin helps you choose the flexible workspace in EC1 to suit your plans in 2014

Location: Hatton Garden
Speciality: Stylish sanctuary for big ideas
Vibe: Go-getting start-ups
Opening Hours: 24-hour access for premium package

Facilities: Headspace does what it says on the tin: it’s a space in which to think big about your next project. Set back by an impressive gated passage, this refurbished Edwardian building features the original marble columns in its smart office interior. An airy aesthetic has attracted plenty of clients since its summer opening, and this fledgling workspace will suit local entrepreneurs who want the buzz of co-working as well as outsiders hoping a desirable EC1 location can grow their business. Choose from three packages, all ensuring a desk space on arrival, a mailing and registered address, wi-fi and unlimited beverages. Appealing to young, ambitious businesses, Headspace has acquired in-house rising tech stars such as BuzzFeed. The focus is corporate, yet the spacious interior and friendly ambience keep things cool.

Cost: Three monthly packages: 24/7 residents pay £350, 8am-8pm is £250, and 10 days per month of 8am-5.30pm access is £150

Lunch: Take advantage of Leather Lane’s independent eateries. Market stalls serve takeaway plates for £5-£7.50. If you’ve just landed a new client, head to The Craft Beer Co for a celebratory pint.
Contact: 0203 691 7500

Location: Clerkenwell Close
Speciality: Catering for every need
Vibe: Co-working community
Opening Hours: 8am-8pm, no entrance after 5.30pm

Facilities: Tucked behind St James’s Church Garden in the Clerkenwell Workshops, Club Workspace has an EC1 location that’s full of character. It even boasts its own award-winning restaurant, The Clerkenwell Kitchen. As part of a network of six London spaces, this experienced and growing workspace provider delivers an extensive array of amenities including private meeting rooms, lockers and showers, as well as free refreshments. With potential capacity for around 75 small businesses, the atmosphere is communally productive, though comfort is never compromised. A former Victorian warehouse that was converted into craft workshops in the Seventies, this site now provides an exciting, efficient environment for its vibrant mix of design, tech and new media start-ups.

Cost: Two monthly packages for the Clerkenwell branch: three days a week for £200 or every day at £300 per month.

Lunch: The Clerkenwell Kitchen’s elevated take on home cooking is just seconds from your desk. Journey into Clerkenwell Green for fresh lunches at Artisserie and The Crown Tavern’s meaty pub grub.
Contact: 0203 355 6428

Location: St John Street
Speciality: Nurturing new ideas
Vibe: Design innovators and digital creators
Opening Hours: 9.30am-6.30pm for drop-in desks

Facilities: Founded by sociologist and entrepreneur Charles Armstrong, this social enterprise has an experimental feel. The Trampery first launched in 2009 in Old Street’s “Tech City” to provide attractive working environments for tech-savvy entrepreneurs whose businesses had outgrown their bedrooms. Its “curated community” in Clerkenwell features both large enterprises and small innovators. Like its sister operations in Old Street and London Fields, Mother at The Trampery (a collaboration with creative agency Mother) provides member-driven events to encourage ideas and networking. Its approach to creativity is encouraged by community non-disclosure agreements, so everybody can discuss ideas in an environment of trust. Executives from major brands lend their experience to young innovators in technology, design, media and the creative industries.

Cost: Alongside various rentable meeting spaces, 20 fulltime desks are available at The Trampery’s subsidised rates for those who successfully apply for membership. Drop-in spots cost £25 per day.

Lunch: With Workshop Coffee and Benugo down the road, you’re not far from top-notch lattes and pulled pork baguettes.
Contact: 0203 111 9883