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Residents and businesses in the borough are encouraged to take part in an online survey that aims to help identify and maximise available work space in the borough.

With high rents and a high number off offices converted into residential housing, it can be difficult to find office premises in the borough that meet the needs of organisations. Richmond Council’s recent business survey identified that almost a quarter (23%) of businesses found it difficult to find the right premises.

Building on the Council’s survey findings, RHACC and Richmond Council for Voluntary Services are carrying out a more specific survey to explore the potential for those other business who might have spare space to share with others, and those who might be interested in using it. This could be a desk, an office or other workspace, within a bigger unit or a stand-alone space, and could be for short periods or longer.

They are particularly interested in hearing from organisations who currently hire out their space or facilities, those who don’t but might be interested in doing so, those who are looking for space now or in the future and those who already do.

The results of the survey will be used to help identify local space and resource needs in the future.

Cllr Geoff Acton, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Business, Economy and Employment, said:

“We know there is strong demand for flexible workspace as availability reduces and the demands of businesses change. People want less risk and more flexibility in their business accommodation and Richmond is under-provided for. Due to Planning legislation, the number of affordable office spaces in our borough is in short supply and as developers are more attracted to residential than commercial provision.

“This can make it very hard for small businesses and the voluntary sector to be able to find suitable premises. Those that do are often faced increasing rent, many not in ideal locations for their needs.

“This survey will help us understand what flexible space is currently available and indeed what could be available in the future. It could provide innovative ways to address the challenge.”

Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College are developing a co-working space at their Richmond Town Centre site to provide flexible, cost-effective provision of workspace.

To take part in the survey, go to: www.surveymonkey.co.uk

— from a Richmond Council press release - 14 August 2018