Business

Affordable Workspace

As part of the council’s commitment to build a fairer, more inclusive Islington, we have developed a pioneering strategy to create new workspaces that are genuinely accessible and affordable to local businesses and organisations.

We aim to create opportunities for micro and small businesses to start–up, grow and remain within the borough despite rapidly rising property costs and business rates.

What are we doing?

We are using our powers and position in the local economy to provide genuinely affordable workspace for micro and small business to start-up and grow.

Affordable workspace is often thought of as 80% of the local market rent. However, Islington is home to some world class business districts where even 80% of market rate is unaffordable. Our Affordable Workspace Strategy is designed to provide genuinely affordable workspace that is available to local micro and small businesses at less than 80% of the market rate.

Why are we doing it?

We are concerned that micro and small businesses are being increasingly priced out of the local property market due to the high rental cost of workspace and/or prohibitive lease terms. This is especially the case in the south of the borough, where prime space is now letting at over £600 per square meter due to high demand.

High property prices mean that the available workspace is only accessible to larger, national or international organisations who are more likely to source staff and ancillary services outside of Islington than local micro and small businesses. This may lead to increasingly high levels of resources and wealth flowing out of the borough, depriving the local economy of vital business.

Our vision for the future is of a vibrant, inclusive economy in which we provide equality of opportunity for residents and businesses.

How will we do it?

We will use our powers in the planning process to secure genuinely affordable workspace on new, large commercial developments or funds from developers for us to create genuinely affordable workspaces in the borough.

We will also seek to develop genuinely affordable workspaces in property owned by the council using external funding (outside the planning process)
For more details about how we will create genuinely affordable workspaces, follow the link to our full strategy at the bottom of this page.

We will invite affordable workspace providers who have experience supporting entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses to manage the workspaces secured through our strategy. These providers will be tasked with:

  • making workspace genuinely affordable for local micro and small businesses and organisations
  • delivering a broad range of business support initiatives
  • creating employment and training opportunities for local residents
  • providing opportunities for Islington’s business clusters to grow

We are currently welcoming new applications to our approved Affordable Workspace List until mid-October. To apply and for further enquiries please email affordableworkspace@islington.gov.uk

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