I know it’s a long time ago now but I do miss Campus North. For those of you either too young or not from these parts it was a coworking space on Carliol Square close enough to the centre of Newcastle. It was a place where you could hang out, meet like minded people and exchange ideas. People hired desk space and events were held there. It had a youthful, hipstery vibe. It felt new and exciting, if a little down market. Yes, I was out of place with my jacket and tie yet I loved it.
I tried to get it going again though there was not a huge amount of enthusiasm. Everyone wanted to see it rise from the ashes yet the people who could have made it happen had moved on to other things. I don’t think they had the appetite to go through it again and I don’t blame them. COVID would probably have killed it anyway.
In the last two weeks though I have visited a couple of new coworking spaces, Floe in the centre of Newcastle, near the Central Station on Grainger Street, and SameSpace in Hexham just over the road from the park. I say new, though they are quite well established. Let’s say they are new to me.
Whilst they are different in many aspects, especially scale they are both aiming to meet a similar need. People want to go and work somewhere where they feel a part of something yet without the commitment to adhering to corporate dictats. Hire a space, come and go as you see fit, wear what you like and get to talk to people in a similar situation.
Humans are social creatures and need others around them yet they need the freedom to be creative. It is when people come together with different experiences and different objectives that creativity really happens. People don’t need to be told when to come in, where to sit and who to associate with, they can work that out for themselves.
These coworking spaces fulfil these needs, allowing people to work in flexible and unrestricted ways. It’s great to see them and I hope that many more will emerge over time and not just in the city centre.