British Land has partnered with Regus, the global workspace provider, to introduce ‘third place’ business hubs at three of its retail properties.
In the first deal of its kind with a retail landlord, Regus Express sites are opening at Meadowhall in Sheffield, Broughton Shopping Park in Chester and Fort Kinnaird Shopping Park in Edinburgh. These hope to offer mobile business professionals a quiet, professional environment with co-working space, private workstations, complementary refreshments, secure wi-fi and meeting rooms.
The hubs will be located in space formerly occupied by the centre management offices and range in size from 1,300 to 2,000 sq ft.
‘Third places’ refer to new locations that workers are using to bridge the gap between the traditional office and home. British Land and Regus believe that the new hubs will prove popular not only with professionals dropping in during a shopping trip but also as a business destination in their own right, without the parking problems associated with city centres.
Charles Maudsley, head of retail for British Land, said: “This is an exciting partnership that will enable us to continue to broaden the landlord services we provide. Our retail portfolio encompasses locally preferred, accessible, high quality locations making us the natural partner of choice for Regus. The format will bring high-specification workspace and business services to our consumers and visitors.”
Phil Kemp, global managing director of Regus Third Place, added: “Although a shopping centre might seem like an unconventional work environment, it is precisely this type of location where we see strongest demand for flexible workspace. With the rise of mobility, work and leisure time is blurring, and people want to work wherever it suits them.
“This is a global trend and we are continually extending our network to provide greater support for flexible workers. Over the last year Regus has announced multiple ‘third place’ partnerships in the transport sector, including all four of the UK’s motorway service area operators and Heathrow Airport. We are currently working with many other retailers, transport operators and hotel chains to help them support the changing needs of their customers and take advantage of the lucrative new revenue stream that Regus Express presents.”