Prescot’s first co-working space set to open in January

Francesca Manca, left, and Kelly Roskell

The first co-working hub in Prescot for sole traders, hybrid workers and small businesses will open in January 2023.

Clockwork Studios will be based in the former Lloyds Bank building on Eccleston Street and will be run as a social enterprise, where profits will be reinvested to help small businesses in Prescot access advice and support to help them grow.

The founders behind Clockwork Studios are two local entrepreneurs, Francesca Manca and Kelly Roskell, who want to create a community hub for sole traders, hybrid workers and small businesses looking for affordable workspace and free business support in the heart of Prescot.

Francesca, a marketing consultant, and Kelly, an accountant, run multiple businesses while raising families and are active in the community with mental health, inclusion and special educational needs initiatives.

Clockwork Studios, named after Prescot’s famous watchmaking history, will have individual and dedicated desks and private full office rental and can be reserved via an online system for one day, one month, three months or annual memberships. Rates start from £15.

Facilities will also include meeting rooms and event space, free WiFi, printing and scanning and access to a kitchen area with tea, coffee and snacks.

Members will also receive discounts and promotions with local businesses.

Francesca and Kelly are keen to make the space as sustainable as possible by furnishing and styling with second-hand and repurposed furniture and features. For example, the former Lloyds bank counter is being upcycled and transformed into the new reception desk.

Clockwork Studios will host free regular events with experts on a variety of business topics such as setting up a business, accountancy, pensions, investment, funding, branding, PR, marketing, mental health and diversity in the workplace.

The coworking space is supported by key partners, including Knowsley Chamber of Commerce, Liverpool John Moores University, Livv Housing Group and Evolving Mindset.

Lesley Martin-Wright, chief executive of Knowsley Chamber of Commerce, who will have staff based at Clockwork Studios, said: “Knowsley Chamber are thrilled to have a presence right within the heart of Prescot and its thriving business community.”

Kelly Roskell said: “Prescot has a fantastic business community with a real ‘hands on’ approach to supporting each other and collaboration. We wanted to provide a hub that embraces that community focus and gives business owners somewhere to find the support they need to take their business to the next level.

“Whether that is through a quick 30 minute chat about how to register their business or through a programme of building a cash flow, writing a business plan or how to find clients.

“Knowsley and the surrounding Liverpool City Region have a wealth of talent to be able support new businesses and we are happy to work together to ensure Knowsley’s business community grows as we navigate through a challenging economic backdrop.”

Francesca Manca said: “Prescot prides itself on hard work and ambition, but starting and growing a business isn’t always easy. From our own experience, we believe that success comes from the support of a community and by learning from those who have walked the entrepreneur’s path and can share their insight into what works and what doesn’t.

“We want Clockwork Studios to be a space for growth for all, whether they are with us every day, or as a one-off, or only for a few hours. And we want our services to be accessible to all, including those who, right now, may not think they can afford it. We want them particularly to have the opportunity to explore their business ideas without it costing the earth.”