City partners with Islington Council in ‘Better Space,’ a collaboration which will deliver an affordable workspace and provide support for small businesses in the borough


City will act as the operator for Better Space at The Ray Farringdon, 127 Farringdon Road, in a 10-year collaboration that will provide genuinely affordable workspace to micro and small businesses and deliver a range of social value initiatives for the benefit of residents, businesses and communities.

Better Space will act as a social enterprise hub in the borough, providing specialist support to social enterprises and strengthening the wider business community through promoting local supply chains, developing business networks and encouraging responsible practices.

The partnership will help the local economy bounce back strongly from the Covid-19 pandemic, creating more jobs and a space where enterprise can thrive

Instead of paying rent City will deliver significant levels of social value by delivering employment and skills opportunities for Islington residents, providing expert support for businesses and entrepreneurs and supporting Islington Council to meet their key objectives such as becoming Carbon Neutral by 2030.

Better Space at The Ray Farringdon, 127 Farringdon Road
Better Space at The Ray Farringdon, 127 Farringdon Road

Spaces at the 6,000 sq ft site will be available to businesses at below market rents. The prime office space is located in The Ray Farringdon, which is also home to the UK headquarters of LinkedIn.

City was chosen by Islington Council, as the University has a good understanding of the programme’s ambitions and has a proven track record in delivering employment initiatives for Islington residents, providing expert business support through its Launch Lab accelerator programme and developing strong local partnerships and networks.

A place for local businesses to flourish

I am really excited to be working with City to offer this truly affordable workspace to local people seeking to start their own businesses.

Better Space is an innovative scheme that will play a key role in delivering a significant amount of social value, which is central to the council’s new Community Wealth Building Programme. The focus on social enterprises is a central priority for us in working towards a more democratic and resilient local economy – an economy which works for everyone.

I also welcome the opportunity to collaborate and work closely with LinkedIn to discover fresh and original ideas to deliver for our residents.

– Cllr Asima Shaikh, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Inclusive Economy and Jobs
Cllr Asima Shaikh and Alex Elkins, Head of Entrepreneurship
Cllr Asima Shaikh and Alex Elkins, Head of Entrepreneurship

I believe Better Space will not only lead to new jobs for residents, but also support and strengthen the wider social enterprise and community business sector in Islington.

– Cllr Matt Nathan, the council's Small Business, Co-ops and Social Enterprise Champion

We are very excited to get started on the development of the affordable workspace in partnership with Islington Council. This project provides an excellent facility for us to share our expertise in entrepreneurship and business start-ups with the wider Islington community.

With a focus on supporting and creating purpose driven companies and social enterprises we hope to help expand the already impressive range of ventures in the region and create new job opportunities for local people at this critical time.

Once finished the space will provide co-working, mentoring and accelerator programmes for residents and young businesses which will build upon Islington’s thriving community and develop new opportunities which are focused on giving back to the borough.

– Alex Elkins, Head of Entrepreneurship at City

Better Space will welcome its first members in June 2021, subject to any Covid-19 restrictions.

For more information see BetterSpace. You can also sign up to the BetterSpace newsletter.

For more information about entrepreneurship at City see CityVentures.