We’re proud to announce that in November 2020 our application to become a ‘Workspace Accreditation Provider’ was approved.
The accreditation is the first of its kind for the workspace sector. Its aim is in keeping with our own: to keep London’s workspaces “open, diverse and affordable for all Londoners”. The scheme also helps benchmark workspace providers against community impact priorities.
How did the workspace accreditation scheme start?
In 2018, when Creative Works opened, a report was commissioned by the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP) on behalf of the Mayor’s Workspaces Providers Board to pinpoint challenges faced by the sector.
The Workspace Affordability Crisis Report revealed that lack of affordable workspace is one of the sector’s primary challenges.
It also found that many of the coworking operators who engage with London’s SME community, like Creative Works, are in favour of a voluntary workspace accreditation scheme that recognises and rewards social outcomes.
To gain accreditation, we had to prove that we’re committed to supporting our business community as well as the wider community of Walthamstow (E17).
Here’s what we were able to evidence:
- We’re affordable
- Our all-inclusive membership fee included: desk space, business rates, reception services, IT support, cleaning, superfast internet, 24/7 access, drinks and snacks, mail handling, business clinic, events, shower, bike storage.
- During the 2020 lockdown, we were able to provide up to 60% membership discounts and bespoke discounts are still being applied.
- Surplus income from membership fees is channelled back into Big Creative Education’s vision or subsidised rents for local startups.
- Flexible contracts make scaling up/down and exiting easy.
- We’re community-driven
- A social enterprise grant will fund an upcoming free business support programme for Creative Works members and other E17 SMEs.
- Creative Works was masterminded by BCE to provide a space for local creative businesses to grow and local learners to gain experience and make connections.
- Creative Works members who hire a BCE apprentice can accommodate them for free; the BCE apprenticeship team is also based in the building.
- Local organisations that we support through ongoing discounted access to the Creative Works community include:
- MVP Workshops – Runs personal and social development programmes in the creative arts for young people, focusing on cultivating vocational skills and improving self-confidence.
- WM Big Local – Funds projects to support the residents of the William Morris ward of Waltham Forest, including various youth and community projects.
- FL Academy – Organises sports workshops and programmes for young people that take place outside of school for hours and during the holidays.
- Slick Casting – Provides casting opportunities for young people from diverse backgrounds.
- We’re a responsible CIC
- We signed the to make a public commitment to reducing our carbon footprint.
- Our local contractors (ITC) used environmentally-friendly building methods and resources, such as FSE approved timber.
- 82% of our furniture, including all our bays, are made out of recycled or reclaimed materials and carpets were laid only where necessary.
- We’ve installed energy-efficient lighting and heating/cooling.
- Circular economy is encouraged through the use of local food suppliers, resources, tradespeople, networks, designers and artists, including:
- Creative Works is a London Living Wage employer.
- Our Equal Opportunities & Diversity Policy is indicative of our commitment to achieving an equal work environment free from discrimination of any kind.
- We signed the Air Quality Commitment Pledge in 2019 to make a public commitment to reducing our carbon footprint.
If you’d like to find out more about the accreditation, our projects or workspace, we’d love to chat – don’t hesitate to get in touch!