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Coworking spaces in the EU getting ready to welcome UK leaving companies #brexit

by | Apr 3, 2017 | Business, Coworking Europe | 0 comments

Last week at the Social Workplace Amsterdam 2017 Conference, Eduard Schaepman, CEO of Tribes, told the audience that 26 companies from the UK already reached out to them to prepare the partial transfer of their team and activity to the Dutch city.

Eduard Schaepman, Tribes

“London established companies are using the passport multi-location flexible office brands offer to commute between cities and prepare themselves up for when the Brexit will be completed”, said the representative of another major network, based in The Netherlands.

For sure, coworking spaces in Europe are preparing themselves for a flow of requests coming from companies currently based in London, Birmingham or Liverpool.

One can more speak of a round of observation than a real rush, though. So far.

Dublin: most of UK company enquiries come from FinTech’s

Mike Hannigan, Coworkinn

Mike Hannigan from Coworkinn, in Dublin, the city where the upcoming Coworking Europe 2017 is to take place, made a small poll, last week within the Irish coworking scene.

Here is main feedback he received from his fellow spaces regarding the expected impact of the Brexit on their operations:

  • There have been a lot of enquiries, but few major moves yet.
  • A number of virtual offices are being opened, helping boost presence and quantify benefits of potential move
  • The majority of enquiries from financial and Fintech companies
  • An increasing number of Digital Marketing and Web development agencies are “talking” about moving to Ireland by 2019
  • Definitely more enquiries than actual moves. This might change now the Brexit process has started – but we need to wait and see.
  • A large volume of enquiries are from Northern Ireland.
  • Some existing Irish companies have reported securing new contracts as a result of Brexit, presumably beating competition from UK based competition.
  • Very small coworking spaces have seen no effect at all
  • On the Northern side of the border (i.e. in U.K. territory) they have seen an influx of Irish companies setting up virtual offices in the UK. This balances out the apparent rush to set up virtual offices in the South. The UK will remain an important market for S.Ireland.
  • Spaces on the border see opportunities in that their N.Ireland (non-eu) clients will be very close geographically to S.Ireland (eu).

A big move out to be expected in 2019?

The story seems similar elsewhere in Europe. More enquiries than real moves, yet.

That said, we all are getting ready, say representatives of some coworking spaces in France, for instance. 

“As far as we are, we certainly expect an increase in the demand of companies moving from the UK to France due to the Brexit, especially once we will have opened our new location at La Defense”, tells a spokesman at Kwerk, a coworking spaces network operating in France. La Defense is the country’s biggest business district.

The attitude remains as pragmatical in Berlin. The city is often told to be the main competitor of London in Europe as far as the startup ecosystem is concerned.

“So far, we didn’t receive more enquiries that what we deal with on a usual base”, tells Stéphanie Bison, from Ahoy! Berlin, a major coworking space based in the capital of Germany. “That said, everybody speaks about it, here”.

The big move could definitely happen closer to March 2019, once the Brexit will have formally taken place…

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