A major co-working space will open in St Ives at the start of 2023, transforming a heritage building overlooking the harbour into one of the most inspiring shared workspaces in the UK.

Bayspace view
The view from Bayspace

Spread over four floors, Bayspace will offer a range of flexible membership options, from freelancers seeking an occasional hot desk, to SMEs looking for private office space from which to grow their business. 

Just moments from St Ives’ bus and train stations, Bayspace also has bike and board storage — and indoor and outdoor showers — allowing for all manner of low-carbon commutes on the Cornish coast. 

The transformation of the Georgian building, on Fernlea Terrace, also features: breakout areas, disabled access, a café, and meeting rooms bookable by the wider community. There will also be a programme of events, including workshops, training, and skills sessions. The restoration project has been led by architects Studio Skein and contractor Catling Construction.

Bayspace room
One of the rooms at Bayspace

“With work nearing completion, we’re almost set to welcome our first members, and will begin hosting meetings and events early in the new year,” said Stephen Morrin, the newly-appointed head of Bayspace. Our mission is to make a positive impact on the local community, supporting year-round jobs, sustainable growth, and nurturing collaboration. There’s a real buzz in the building already, and we can’t wait for our first members to arrive and begin work.” 

The project has been nurtured into life by St Ives resident and experienced business consultant Rowena Swallow. She helped form St Ives Workstation Community Interest Company and is now director of programme and development. Bayspace is the CIC’s first project, with more planned to follow. 

As co-author of St Ives Local Economy Plan and a board member of the St Ives Town Deal, Rowena is passionate about the town’s sustainable future and mindful of the challenges brought about by the lack of business space, and an economy heavily reliant on tourism and hospitality. Having identified a strong need for a work hub to allow local businesses to reach their full potential, the CIC was able to secure funding from the Coastal Communities Fund to purchase the building

She said: “St Ives has long been a magnet for creativity — a testbed for new ideas, be that in the field of culture, environment, sustainability, or food and drink. It’s an inspiring place, but right now that innovative, entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t have a home or room to grow. Our vision is for Bayspace to be that home, and for it to be the first of several linked projects here in West Cornwall.”

Membership options start at £75 per month, and there are various discounts available for charities and local businesses. For more information, visit bayspace-stives.com

SIL Mar Apr 2023 teaser