I was lucky enough to be back in London last week for a client workshop and as favor to a good friend, I agreed to check out a co-working space for their business that is looking to expand into Europe. As I know London well and previously spent many years living there, I was more than happy to help out and explore a part of old London town I knew many years ago.
Elephant & Castle
Wow, has this area changed. For the better. As quite possibly one of the last remaining “affordable” areas within Zone 1 of the tube, Elephant & Castle in Southwark has gone through a revival and gentrification over recent years. New bars and restaurants, independent grocers and markets, have transformed this once quite dodgy neighborhood into something akin to the change that happened years ago in East London. Shoreditch it is however not (at least for the time being); and that is a good thing.
Memories of the late 1990s
The co-working address I visited was 103 Gaunt Street, an address I have to say vaguely rang a bell as I checked Google Maps and made my travel plans to visit the property.
Then it dawned on me - the co-working space was at the Ministry of Sound, in fact, it was the business side of the MoS, right next door to the same club that I have spent many hours (ok, probably an aggregate of weeks) in my youth growing up in London in the late 1990s.
What memories! The co-working space itself is part of the MoS business side, that is transitioning their record label business (sold to Sony (at the right time might I add) a few years back before Spotify completely dominated the music space) to now a shared co-working space and private members club. Nice one MoS.
The space itself
Co-workers and MoS magazine staff co-exist and share the space, a nice touch I felt rather than any type of separation between “us and them”. The space itself is typical to what you would find in any other co-working space - nice surrounds, furnished well, fully serviced kitchen, free breakfasts, happy hour, etc. but with something a little special for any clubber …….. being literally part of the same building as the legendary MoS (I was told apparently on club nights if you work late you will hear and feel the music, a positive in my mind at least but may not be for everyone).
If you are a creative industries related startup
In addition to the shared co-working MoS space, if you are a startup working within the creative industries space, there is a very special private members co-working space to enjoy. This space, known simply as The Ministry, is stunning. Think a more creative feeling SoHo house meets WeWork; a beautiful co-working space, private members bar and restaurant, outdoor heated terrace, tequila bar in the toilets (yes really), and a whole bunch of other benefits (including free tickets to the MoS club) are for you to enjoy.
So go check it out
The MoS co-working space and the more exclusive The Ministry is a great alternative to the ever popular WeWork and other chain-like spaces in London and is located in a friendlier priced area of Zone 1. The Ministry in particular is very special, my pick certainly if your business qualifies. Now whether you get any actual work done in this space is another question.