Entrepreneur invests £2m into first of planned cohab workspace roll-out

Jason Dixon at the Dukinfield site

Tameside-born entrepreneur Jason Dixon is set to launch a new out-of-town, cohab workspace in Dukinfield to meet the growing demand for flexible and affordable office accommodation.

The group CEO of Office Tech Holdings, a player in managed print solutions covering agile working, cyber security and e-document management systems, has invested £2m in the 18,000sq ft former Bardsley building, on Dukinfield’s Globe Industrial Park.

The offices will have on-site parking and be equipped with superfast Wi-Fi and broadband. There will be PO box facilities with digital inbound and outbound mail services, printing services and conference space, as well as a bistro and coffee shop with the focus on healthy, nutritional meals.

Located just two miles from the M60 and seven miles from Manchester city centre, the hybrid workspace will be managed and marketed under new brand Office Tech and Space.

It is the company’s first site, with plans to target fringe areas of other cities in the UK – such as Liverpool, Birmingham, Newcastle, Leeds and Sheffield – in the next two years.

The Dukinfield building is now undergoing a stylish £600,000 renovation, using local suppliers wherever possible, to provide companies with an alternative to the city centre office.

With an October opening date planned, first customers will include Unilever-owned Walls Refrigeration Units which will be moving its team of 16 staff into the space from its current Trafford Park base.

The cohab workspaces are backed up with all the services, tech solutions and support required to help companies operate seamlessly, efficiently and compliantly.

There will be 25 plug and play tech ‘pods’ as well as more traditional office space. A members bar will host regular events to help build a strong, in-house business community, sharing services and driving business opportunities for tenants.

It is designed for companies that want to downsize permanent office space, as well as small businesses and individuals that want to benefit from local office facilities and up-to-date technology at an affordable pay-as-you go price, without committing to larger long term fixed overheads.

Jason said: “The pandemic has fundamentally changed how, when and where we work, and we know that not everyone is working from home as productively and compliantly as they could. Many just don’t have the luxury of a dining table or a spare room that they can turn into an office five days a week.

“Our new shared office space concept is a perfect combination of convenience, cost effectiveness and professionalism. We’re providing workspace for those many regional businesses that are switching to a hybrid work model – cutting down on lengthy commutes and expensive parking – as well as those younger, smaller businesses that want to enjoy working in a more professional and secure environment.”

Jason Dixon at the Dukinfield site

Fees start at around £70 a month and members will be able to use the cohab workspace as they see fit on a ‘come and go’ basis. At full capacity up to 600 people will be accommodated on varying flexible deals.

Jason added: “We have kept it extremely cost effective. This will be a vibrant business community hub with access to everything you need for less than the price of a cup of coffee a day.”

Jason said he has big ambitions for the Dukinfield model: “Once our Dukinfield office space is up and running, we plan to replicate the model elsewhere in urban centres bordering some of the UK’s biggest cities.

“Dukinfield is a brilliant place for us to start this journey as it’s so close to my roots. We will pioneer this tech and office vision from Tameside with pride. We can’t wait to get started.”