A NUMBER of local residents and creative companies working from inside the Workshed in Liskeard have expressed their views on it’s facilities - saying it has helped to tackle isolation from at home working.
The Workshed is a new, state of the art, facility located in the Cattle Market car park in Liskeard.
Managed by foundry asset management, on behalf of Cornwall Council it offers hot-desking options, meeting areas, offices and workshops to creative and digital industries –it’s aim is to offer support to self employed, entrepreneurs, small businesses and companies by providing a dedicated work environment open to all.
On arrival, you are greeted with ample parking with spaces dedicated to Workshed desk holders around the back.
Visitors are greeted by Workshed manager, Daniel Sturrock from Liskeard, and assistant manager Darren Peart who are more than happy to offer teas and coffees.
The bottom floor, dedicated to creative industries, consists of comfortable, light and spacey co-working areas, a range of dedicated desks, private comfy areas and a meeting room.
On the top floor, there is a range of spaces available for digital based industries to lease – each with floor to ceiling windows and good views.
Around the building there are kitchens, showers and lifts available to use.
Outside of the Workshed, there is a events area under a canopy.
This area has been used for monthly markets and the Liskeard Lights Up event previously but is available for anything.
A number of permanent hot-deskers have spoken to the Cornish Times to have their say on the new community building including Onagh Corrigan who moved to Liskeard in April last year as she wanted to be part of a community.
Onagh works remotely for a Essex based company and pays for a permanent desk inside the Workshed and says that ‘working remotely can be very isolating.’
She said: “It’s a great to work in a multi-generational workspace. There is lots of opportunity for networking and collaborating, it provides people with a sense of well-being and keeps motivation going. You also feel part of a community.”
Darren Nock also has a permanent desk, working five days a week running his architectural company called ‘replan’.
Darren has been working from the Workshed since it opened and has said that he has had ‘some of the best months of work to date’ since then.
“It’s been amazing,” Darren explained.
“I’ve had a massive up-haul in work. Its a great place to keep the motivation going.”
Darren had been running his business at home for six years but found it difficult.
“It’s hard working at home – here you get a dedicated workspace,” he added.
Reflecting on his favourite part of being in the Workshed, Darren said: “Its the mix of people and the sense of community.”
William Newbury also runs an architecture company and sometimes works collaboratively with Darren who sits opposite him within the shared workspace.
William has a permanent desk and travels from Plymouth everyday to work.
Since working from Liskeard, William said he feels that he’s ‘getting in with the community’.
“There’s always a bit of chat and you meet new people,” William commented.
William now has plans for a community project for the Liskeard football team where he will be designing the team at new stadium at Lux Park.
Daniel Sturrock, the manager, has followed the journey of the Workshed since 2022 helping out with its initial establishment.
He is excited to show what the Workshed can offer and how it will benefit the people that live in the town.
Daniel said: “The Liskeard Workshed is attracting new industries to commit to Liskeard and provides a shared prosperity to the town as a whole.
“Its a great space and supports smaller businesses by providing a shared space which is vital.”
Nick Craker, Cornwall Councillor Liskeard Central, feels optimistic about the space and highlights the economic value it has brought to the town.
Cllr Craker commented: “Anyone who has spent any time in the Workshed during the working week cannot help but feel optimistic about this new space and the contribution it is already making to the economy of Liskeard.
“It is lovely to see how the space is being utilized by small businesses and others to provide a collaborative work space that’s modern and in the heart of our town. I am sure this facility will continue to grow over time and bring new enterprises to Liskeard.”
Cornwall Councillor for Liskeard South and Dobwalls, Cllr Jane Pascoe explained: “The building was funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Local Growth Fund and some match funding by Cornwall Council”
“We were so fortunate to receive this funding to enable us to revitalise the prominent redundant site. It would have been devastating for the town if the site had become derelict and unattractive to investors.
“It has been built to encourage economic growth and job creation in the town centre which will include creative and digital industry, many of the units have been successfully let and the hot-desk shared space is very popular.
Reflecting on the daily management of the Workshed manager, Daniel Sturrock, Cllr Pascoe, added: “His local knowledge, passion to promote a vibrant town and plans to attract more events in the outside space has been outstanding. He has certainly brought the community together on many occasions and everyone who visits the Workshed will certainly receive a warm welcome.”
Cllr Pascoe went on to highlight two recent ‘historic’ Workshed events including the annual Primestock Show which coincided with the building’s official opening and a civic visit from Michael Quernez, Mayor of Quimperle, following the town’s recent twinning with a town village in Brittany.
Cllr Pascoe added: “There are further plans for the Cattle Market site and the Workshed is Phase One, the first piece of a complex jigsaw, to create a vibrant area and increase footfall in the centre of Liskeard Future plans include the expansion of Rosedean Surgery, the Integrated Service Hub and a bus waiting area. The investment in the town will send a confident signal to potential investors that Liskeard is a growing town, connected by a mainline station and with digital skills and opportunities.
“I have been aware that the development in the Cattle Market site has raised concerns regarding the provision of car parking spaces.
“I have always acknowledged the importance of those spaces because I know that a large proportion of visits to the town centre are made by residents from our vast rural hinterland, who must use their motor car.
“At every meeting I have insisted that there will be no reduction of spaces, I have been assured that when the site is completed there will be the same number as before.”