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About Forward Space

Forward Space operates the most successful work hub in the South West. Established in Frome, Somerset in 2007, it was one of the first work hubs outside London and pioneered co-working and collaborative workspace in regional towns. Successfully operating for over 6 years, Forward Space is still seen as an innovator in work hub development.

We also understand how to embed a work hub meaningfully with the host town. We have been instrumental in turning Frome into a destination for high growth star-ups and emerging businesses, with the town being voted one of the top ten e-Towns in the UK by Google in 2011.

From the start we have put together the right mix of services, flexible pricing and dynamic workspace, to bring premium affordable low cost facilities to start-ups and micro businesses, which previously would have located in larger urban areas.

Somerset work hubs scheme - business planning support

In order to assist potential operators in developing and presenting attractive and commercially viable work hub proposals, Forward Space is providing a combination of open and direct support to the potential work hub applicants.

The Somerset Work Hub Scheme forms part of the Heart of the South West Rural Growth Network Pilot, funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and supported by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP), Devon County Council (DCC) and Somerset County Council (SCC).

Workshop 1: Business Start-up
// 26th November

The first workshop will be delivered by Gavin Eddy, covering everything from understanding the market and choosing a business model, to employing people and the importance of interior design. This workshop is designed to give you all the information you need about the nuts and bolts of running a work hub.

Workshop 2: IT & E-Commerce
// 27th November

This workshop will be split into a morning and afternoon session. The morning will be delivered by Ryan McKee and will cover the importance of websites, software packages available for co-working and managing security risks. The afternoon will be delivered by Rebecca Krzyzosiak and will focus on PR for a small business, marketing a small business, how to maximise sales and making the most of social media.

Workshop 3: Finance & Environmental Aspects
// 29th November

The final workshop will be delivered by Gavin Eddy and will be focussing on how to manage finances and the different sources of funding, as well as minimise your carbon footprint and making sure you comply with Health and Safety regulations. It is vital that you understand all of these legalities and protocols as they are integral to running a safe business. Some of the content will be delivered via handouts and information packs, so that it can easily be referred to at a later date.

What format does my application have to be in?

Whilst the main business plan needs to be in arial font size 12, as per the requirements in the call for proposals document, if there are tables/diagrams where a smaller font is needed for formatting etc., that will be acceptable.

Applications will only be accepted by electronic mail on Monday – i.e. paper versions can follow on if necessary

How much does it cost?

The Work hub Business Support workshops provided by Forward Space are free for any organisation that has applied for the Somerset Work Hubs scheme.

Where will the workshops be held?

All of the workshops will be hosted at Forward Space's Frome work hub, The Old Church School. Full details and directions can be found on The Old Church School website.

How many days will the workshops be delivered over?

We have scheduled three days for the workshops to take place, all workshops will be delivered between 9:30AM - 4:30PM. We are also offering every applicant 10hrs of additional support, which can be delivered either virtually or physically.

What does the 10hrs of Direct Support entail?

Just in case our workshops don't answer all the questions that you might have, we're offering 10hrs per applicant of Direct Support. This can be delivered via email, over the phone or at your site if needed, whichever allows us to best answer your query. Please note, all support must take place prior to 16th December 2013, which is the application deadline.