The founders of "The Mixer" in Kirkcaldy have benefitted from over 12 months of ongoing support and capacity building of their staff team. The Coworking Accelerator Network's EXPLORE Scoping Support services have provided them with guidance, knowledge and experience, and help in shaping their opportunities.
"We have undertaken a feasibility study and are developing a business plan with a view to developing a shared coworking space here in Kirkcaldy.
"In our opinion The Coworking Accelerator Network’s core values of belonging, nurturing and place-making can be an integral part of Kirkcaldy Town Centre’s regeneration process."
Bill Harvey - BID Coordinator, Kirkcaldy4All
The coastal town of Kirkcaldy in Fife is some 30 miles NE of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city (population circa 50,000). In its heyday the town was famous for its mile-long high street, and seaside promenade. Like many small towns in the UK, over the last 40 years the town has lost its uniqueness and associated vibrancy, and is economically struggling with many empty retail properties, low industry, and inhabitants who commute to the city for work.
The Local Leaders
Kirkcaldy4All is a non-profit company which runs the BID (Business Improvement District) for the town - though this is up for renewal in 2020. This established local economic development organisation has led many successful and innovative initiatives and works closely with Fife Council who are looking at funding the fit-out of a suitable property to take forward this new idea for the area.
Why Quality Coworking is Needed Locally
For future activation of local entrepreneurs and small businesses, and a way to practically support and engage them to start and grow their business
Attracting foot-fall, spend and new business to the town and high street
Retain people (especially commuters) in the region and improve their quality of life
To bring a coworking space to Kirkcaldy which will become a hub for local entrepreneurs and businesses, complementing our overall aim to improve the trading environment of the Town Centre.
By 2020, to open 2,500 square feet of shared office (open plan) space located on the High Street above an already thriving retail cluster (coffee shop, quality butcher and ice cream parlour). Core services include:
virtual office services
Progress made to date
Search and identification of suitable premises
Key stakeholder engagement and buy-in
Identification and securing of some business development resource
Market research and feasibility study showing interest and demand
Staff training on essential elements needed for delivery of the business model (through EXPLORE Quality Coworking Learning Event)
Site visits to other small coworking spaces
Key stumbling blocks
Losing out by £1k on securing a building at auction, and associated dip in motivation
Lack of resource within a small busy team
How their vision has been ACCELERATED
EXPLORE Scoping Support has provided Kirkcaldy4All with ongoing on-site and remote capacity building consultancy from early 2017 onwards, leveraging our knowledge and experience in the development of their own quality coworking business.
We have supported staff through the business exploration process – market research, feasibility study, business modelling and action planning – including:
Engagement with their critical stakeholders - to bring them on board
Informing market research activities and feasibility study assessment
Site visits of potential buildings and advice on suitability
Space and service design for maximising yield
Outlining key elements for success in their business model
Defining core products/services
Planning the critical stages, activities and processes needed to get open
Maintaining motivation and momentum
"We are excited at the prospect of bringing this new venture to fruition in the not too distant future."
– Bill Harvey - BID Coordinator, Kirkcaldy4All
Motivation of the team through their start-up stage
Clarity of opportunity, risks and rewards for their organisation
Prioritisation plan of approach
Generate common language and understanding within the team, to better describe their core activities to stakeholders and potential customers
Expedite appropriate market research
Understanding of global trends in coworking
Connection with other Scottish-based emerging leaders / place-makers
Business modelling and space design in proposed property
Planning for and securing resources for fit-out
Creating business plan
Marketing and recruitment