Coworking space has seen a boom in popularity in recent years. And as the way we work changes following the pandemic, I’d expect we will see more people with flexible working, fewer people based in a single office space and employers even offering budget for their employees to choose coworking spaces. So no longer is it just the self employed I would expect to see in such spaces.
But some of us (I’m pointing at myself, if I’m honest) don’t work well from home. My own micro business has offices in the sleepy Saddleworth village of Greenfield. That’s mostly because I cannot be trusted to work from home without downing tools to wash the pots, tidy toys or do something else that may be useful but won’t pay the bills.
When I first went freelance, I tested a couple of coworking spaces and hot desk facilities but also did tonnes and tonnes of research into coworking spaces in Manchester and the surrounding areas. I’ve done some more research contacted some providers and in this guide, I’ll cover 18 of the best coworking spaces in and around Manchester along with information about costs, flexibility of the terms, transport and facilities.
Manchester Coworking Spaces
Here’s the summary of 18 of Greater Manchester’s best coworking spaces and the key information.
WeWork – Spinningfields, Manchester City Centre
Arguably one of the best known hot desk and co-working spaces, WeWork offers so much more than just a desk. Something of a social hub for creatives and freelancers, No1 Spinningfields is now just one of a handful of WeWork CoWorking spaces in Manchester.
Memberships are available from £250/month for desk space and facilities include:
- Inclusive refreshments (coffee, tea and fruit infused water)
- A wellness room for meditation, relaxation etc
- Regular events taking place
- Social, breakout and relaxation spaces
- Bike storage
Spinningfields is incredibly well located. You can walk to 4 train stations, plenty of Metrolink Stations and bus stops too. So public transport is not an issue. But parking in the city centre can be a right pain in the backside, frankly.
Another Ancoats option (parking is often easier to find up that end of the city too than in other parts – £3.50 all-day wow). Beehive Lofts is an incredibly cool looking coworking space at £275/month all-inclusive.
Access for members is 24/7, including weekends and bank holidays too. I think this is really important.
You have the choice of keeping your own desk for the whole time you are there or moving desks month to month if you want to try different locations or just mix it up.
Other features include:
- Unlimited craft teas, bean-to-cup coffee and hot chocolate
- Unlimited fruit water
- Daily breakfast and snacks delivered to your desk
- Wellbeing focused events calendar
- Free to access meeting rooms and phone booths that you can book using their app
- Superfast Wifi
- A4/3 Printing
- Pet Friendly
Flagship is a smaller option than many coworking spaces on this list and is in the city’s Northern Quarter.
Flexible desks are available from £20/day or a dedicated desk from £250/month.
The Northern Quarter is hugely accessible. This one is close to Tib Street and that surrounding area with lots of lunch options and bars and is also within minutes on foot from a number of Metrolink stations as well as both Piccadilly and Victoria train stations.
Other features include:
- Premium Herman Miller furniture throughout
- 24/7 access
- Access to sound proof phone booths
- Superfast Wifi
- Inclusive snacks and refreshments including tea, coffee, fruit and snack bars
- Flagship has partnered up with local bars to offer its members discounts. These include The Alchemist, Federal Cafe, Abel Heywood and Malmaison.
Old Granada Studios (OGS)
For the Coronation Street fans amongst us (don’t judge me) Granada Studios is better known for Vera Duckworth than coworking space. And those of us who were children when Granada Studios offered a tourist attraction (Studio tours with rides and all sorts of fun) have fond memories.
But Corrie has long since migrated to newer and fancier studios in Media City (Salford Quays) and Old Granada Studios is now office and events space.
OGS has coworking membership options from £100 per month (plus VAT).
That £100 per month would be for what they call “hot desking” membership. Essentially, you get access from 9am to 6pm during the working week, 3 hours of use each month of meeting room, unlimited wifi and printing credits.
Double your spend to £200 per month and you get “resident access.” The main upgrades here are that you have 24/7 access, which is really vital for some. You also get a permanent desk instead of hopping onto any available desk and you get 10 hours of meeting room access each month.
Location wise, you can walk to a host of tram stops, a few train stations and have quick access to some of the busiest bus routes. Drivers? Maybe try and leave the car. Parking in the city centre is nightmarish, traffic is, frankly, dire and a parking spot can be extortionate.
Workplace, City Centre
Take a tour:
Describing itself as “hospitality inspired,” Workplace really does look the part. The imagery is beautiful and if your surroundings make a difference to how you work, this could be the one for you.
Rates start at £180 per month but you can also buy individual day passes for £25 each (or a bundle of 10 for £200).
Located on Oxford Street in Manchester, it’s a stone’s throw from St Peter’s Square, within walking distance of Oxford Road Train Station and you can also easily get to both Victoria and Piccadilly from here too. So the public transport links are fantastic. But I give my usual “driving in Manchester City Centre” warning. Traffic is also. It’s all too frequently roadworks Hell for my liking, and parking is overpriced and limited. So my personal view would be that city centre coworking spaces are much better accessed by public transport.
Amongst the higher priced of the offerings in the shared workspace, Accelerate Places offers membership at £295/month. But it’s in a cracking location.
Facilities and features include:
- No deposit required
- Complementary access to meeting rooms and photo booths
- A range of “perks” for members in the form if discounts in local venues and from local service providers
City centre car parking warning applies!
Well located, close to Albert Square in Manchester, Headspace has no shortage of amenities on its doorstep.
Membership will set you back just under £200 a month but you can also book by the hour (£5/hour) without membership.
Membership doesn’t include meeting room bookings, but does include a phone number which you can redirect to your own mobile number. This is really handy for freelancers who perhaps don’t want to give clients their personal numbers.
Based in the Northern Quarter in Manchester’s City Centre, SpaceportX is really well located for both Piccadilly and Victoria Train station, plus Shudehill, Market Street, Exchange Square and Victoria Metrolink Stations.
For £150/month you can haver Monday to Friday 9 to 5 access with inclusive Internet access and access to the rooftop garden.
However, for a permanent desk plus free use of meeting rooms in addition to this and 24/7 access, you’ll need a Resident Membership at £240 per desk per month.
Colony has a number of coworking spaces in Manchester City Centre but one definitely worth checking out is at Piccadilly.
Located in Piccadilly Place, you can walk to Manchester’s Piccadilly train station in a couple of minutes. Equally, Piccadilly Gardens Metrolink station is accessible in little over 5 minutes.
Beautifully laid out, it’s a popular option for creatives.
Ziferblat, Northern Quarter
This is a slightly different offering in that it built a reputation more as a “pay per minute” coffee shop than a co-working space. All the refreshments are included.
You can still pay per minute there but the £149 monthly co-working space option is cracking value.
Paying per minute is 8p per minute, to the £149 would be the equivalent of around 31 hours, so if you’re likely to use the space for more than 7.5 hours a week it’s well worth it.
Such a cool concept and a really quirky looking place too.
Opening hours at 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday and then 9am to 10pm on the weekends.
Use Space, Ardwick
The first space we’ve covered outside of the city centre, Use. Space is based in Ardwick, not a million miles from the city. It’ll take you around 20 minutes to walk to Piccadilly Gardens (to give you an idea as to how close it is) or you can get there in around 10 minutes on the bus.
You can book by the day (£25 per day) or half day (£15) or get a membership.
A £99 monthly “Cameo” membership will get you 40 hours of access. £199 per month “Nomad” gets you unlimited access, while the £295 “Resident” gets you unlimited access plus a dedicated desk and lockable drawers.
This gives you some real cost effective and flexible options.
It’s also dog friendly so don’t worry about leaving your furry friend at home alone.
The Landing Media City
Media City, Salford, is fantastic. Close to Manchester City Centre, it’s a buzzing and vibrant space for tech and creative businesses. With ITV and BBC (amongst others) having a large presence here, it has attracted a lot of talent in recent years. And of course, there’s shared working space here too in the form of The Landing.
With 53,000 square feet across 5 floors, it’s amongst the biggest of Greater Manchester’s shared working space offerings.
Memberships start at £200 a month and Media City has excellent transport links.
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We’re super proud and excited to announce the opening of PROFOLK – Stockport’s coolest co-working and office space. Doors open this coming Monday (18th) at 9am. Here’s to the continued reawakening of Stockport – we hope to be a credit. #coworking #stockport #creativeworkspaces
Stockport is on the mainline connecting London to Manchester. You can get from Stockport to Manchester in less than 10 minutes on the train, so despite the fact the Metrolink doesn’t serve Stockport, transport is no issue. There are loads of buses too.
But one of the reasons Stockport might appeal over and above the City Centre is that parking is far less of a problem and is generally less costly than it is in the city centre.
Profolk occupies an old bank building.
£175 gets you a membership, but for just £200 a month you can also have a. dedicated desk and locker.
Where Profolk really stands out though is in the value of its day passes. You can £12.50 (plus VAT) per day for hot desking which is incredible value and one of the most affordable co working options we’ve seen when researching Greater Manchester’s offering.
Openspace Co-Operative, Hulme
Hulme is minutes from Manchester City Centre and the Openspace Co-Operative is a really affordable co working option. A deposit of just over £160 is required, but monthly fees start at just £115.50 per month.
You can also pay by the . day for just over £17, but a deposit will be required too.
Bonus – OpenSpace has a great outdoor space in the form of a garden and playground. Yes, playground.
A little further outside the city, Hack Oldham is in Oldham Town Centre.
There’s no longer a. train station in the town of Oldham, but you can get a tram from the town Centre to Manchester Victoria in around half hour. Parking is also readily available and affordable, so for freelancers living in the town or North/East of Manchester, this is a solid option.
Ashton Old Baths
To the East of Manchester City Centre, Ashton is on the Metrolink line and you can get into the centre easily.
Ashton Old Baths is a really beautiful building conversion and amongst the greatest of the spaces covered here in terms of the quality of the renovation.
With memberships from. £99, this is very affordable, with high speed Internet, break out spaces and genuinely lovely surroundings all part and parcel.
Lofthouse Creatives, Stretford
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For £140 per month (plus a deposit) you can get membership to a really quirky and creative co working space in Stretford, which has good transport links to Manchester City Centre.
And it also includes free car parking!! For those who drive from areas where transport links are perhaps not that great, this is a hugely valuable offering. You won’t get inclusive parking with many a co-working space in the City Centre.
What to look for in a coworking space?
What you want will very much depend on your working patterns and the sort of environment you’re most productive in. But somethings to consider before signig up for any coworking space include:
- How flexible are the terms? If your circumstances are likely to change a lot then you may not want to be stuck in a lengthy coworking contract. The more flexible the terms, the better. In some cases, providers may offer more favourable rates if you agree to a long term contract. It’s always worth asking the question.
- What are the opening hours? Don’t get caught out here! If you regularly work outside of “normal” office hours, but your coworking space operates Monday to Friday, 9 until 5, there’s clearly no fit there. It’s also worth checking access arrangements over holiday periods like Christmas
- Can you bring a buddy or rent a meeting room? If you always work solo, this might be less of a concern. But the flexibility of adding day passes to collaborate with people who are not members or to rent meeting rooms for meetings and collaboration
- Will your membership allow you to use more than one premises if the coworking space is part of a chain? Again, not necessarily important for everyone, but if you travel a lot this could be useful