By Alison Craig
CoreSpace: ‘For the original thinker, self-starter who strives for flexibility and great coffee. Start early, work late and be around others aiming for brilliance.’
Hang a right at the mini-roundabout onto Pennyburn Road, past the primary school, then another right onto Byrehill Place. Down the newly tarmacked road past the freshly minted houses bordering the new development. Left at the roundabout before the ambulance station, another 200 metres or so, and there it is – CoreSpace Kilwinning. I remember it as Montgomery House in days gone by when it was used by North Ayrshire Council and I attended meetings there. Little did I imagine then that one day I would be walking through its doors as my own boss, or that it would look so different.
It’s a lego-brick block of a building that could easily appear entirely functional, but succeeds in looking welcoming, glamorous even, with its dark brick, wide windows and silver lettering above the door that winks in the sunshine. CORESPACE: Work | Mind | Body. It’s clear immediately that CoreSpace Kilwinning is much more than a workplace. Step inside the wood-clad lobby and find a world of calm, creativity and relaxed productivity. I’ve worked in quite a few places over the years – from the top of an ugly tower block that swayed and groaned on windy days to the shiny hushed halls of a university, and from a windowless, breathless basement office to a leisure centre where I could leave my desk at lunchtime and be at the beach in five minutes, to watch the gannets dive-bombing the waves. CoreSpace has the honour of beating even this latter to take top spot as my most favourite place to work, ever.
It was a year ago that I found myself looking for a base for my growing business – somewhere for me to work other than home, and somewhere to bring clients. It needed to be pleasant, near to transport routes and, of course, value for money. I filled in an enquiry form and two days later I was meeting with the wonderfully enthusiastic and helpful Steve for a tour around the facilities. I knew immediately that this was what I had been looking for, with everything I needed under one roof – graceful office space, a yoga/Pilates studio, a gym equipped with cardio and resistance machines as well as free weights, a kitchen, meeting/event rooms, a fully equipped board room, a garden area, free secure WiFi, and loads of free parking. And it’s entered via a secure entrance, with the flexibility of 24/7/365 access so that business can truly fit around life, whatever that involves. Working nine to five? No more! I fell in love-at-first-sight with a beautiful dual-aspect corner office, and envisioned all the ways that CoreSpace would work for my business. It was a done deal and I moved in a few weeks later.
At that point, I was one of the first businesses to take up residence, as the building was still undergoing refurbishment and many of the offices remained unoccupied. Since then, it has truly grown into itself, largely under the visionary eye of Steve, who is always open to ideas from the business owners joining the CoreSpace community. And it has developed its own vibe as a place that supports not just business but also wellbeing, in work, in mind and in body, recognising that our businesses are only as well as we are. Thus, several of the businesses that have been attracted to CoreSpace Kilwinning are in the wellbeing sector, supporting their clients in feeling and looking good, inside and out. My own business, Change Ahead, provides menopause education and lifestyle coaching, and sits well alongside businesses like The Ivy Room Holistic and Beauty, Honeybee Cottage Holistic Studio (healing, meditation, and craft therapy studio), The Salon (hair and nails), and Anita Mackie Pilates, based in the calm and spacious studio which also hosts Ange’s yoga classes. Not only are we comfortable together, but clearly there are ample opportunities for creative co-working and for referral of business and clients. It’s wonderful to have a place where we are all doing our own thing, achieving our goals at the same time as supporting and learning from each other.
But the context is pretty varied too, with a range of other types of business at CoreSpace, including well-known national and international companies such as Taylor & Henderson (solicitors and estate agents), Meuhlhan Wind Service, and Konsileo Insurance, organisations like the Educational Institute of Scotland North Ayrshire office, all the way down to medium and smaller (sometimes one-person) businesses like Ailsa Reliability Solutions, Thistle Business Services, and Caledonian Fire Safety Solutions. As such, CoreSpace Kilwinning is a distinct and diverse community, and with such diversity comes opportunity, not only for provision of services, cross-fertilization of ideas and shared work, but for some great conversations in the corridors or over the coffee machine in the large downstairs kitchen. It’s an environment that truly represents and develops a new concept of business collaboration, and all in an Instagram-perfect backdrop.
So, what might CoreSpace Kilwinning offer you? If you are a business looking for a wonderful place to be and to grow, there are still some offices available, from small, one-person rooms to bigger offices catering for businesses that need floor-space for equipment, activities or products, or for multiple occupancy. Check out the CoreSpace website at www.corespace.co.uk or find CoreSpace on Facebook. Or if you are looking for something like this elsewhere, note that CoreSpace also has business facilities in Ayr and Kilmarnock. For more information or to book a tour, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 01292 225710.