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Our flexible co-working business spaces

Find out why we opened up new co-working spaces in September 2016.

The Lewisham borough has become a leading centre for dynamic, diverse and creative micro-businesses.

DEK logo

Creative and digital micro-businesses

We have the highest percentage of very small businesses in the UK, with 84.2% of businesses in the borough employing less than five people (NOMIS October 2013).

Our surveys of creative and digital micro-businesses showed little evidence of clustering of these businesses within the borough. In fact, we found that 75% of them were home-based.

This revealed that support for this sector was under-networked in the borough. It was potentially holding back growth.

Key recommendations

There was also a key recommendation identified in the Business Growth Strategy 201323 to address this market failure.

There was a need to 'expand opportunities for incubator space for new businesses and specific business sectors’.

Establishing the business case

In 2013, we commissioned feasibility studies and talked to several start-ups.

The aim was to establish the business case for creating a network of business enterprises spaces.

The space were set up within three vacant council-owned buildings:

  • Ladywell

  • Catford

  • Deptford.

We were awarded £1.63m of funding from the following organisations:

  • New Homes Bonus (£1.2m)

  • GLA High Street Fund (£430,000).

This was to support the refurbishment and fit out of all three spaces. Funding also supported their running costs for the first two and a half years.

Our ambitions for Dek

Bow Arts manage the business spaces.

These are:

  • Dek Catford

  • Dek Ladywell

  • Dek Deptford.

The Dek spaces create high quality, fully furnished and serviced co-working spaces.

They have been designed to promote the growth of:

  • start-ups

  • entrepreneurs

  • existing businesses.

These tend to be primarily working in the creative, digital media, business and social enterprise sectors.

Documents

Contact

Economy and Partnership

London Borough Of Lewisham, Laurence House, 1 Catford Road, London, SE6 4RU
Telephone: 020 8314 6700
Email: economicdevelopment@lewisham.gov.uk