Our delivery and advice services

Workhubs Network CIC and its sister company Live/Work Network Ltd, are the UK's leading experts on workhubs, home-based business and live/work property. We offer four areas of particular expertise, all potentially connected:

Workhubs set-up and support services

Workhubs Network CIC runs a National Pilot Workhub in Penzance: The Workbox. We can offer those looking to set up a workhub in their town or neighhbourhood a full set of support services, ranging from expert advice to start up direct management and ongoing back-end services.

We are particularly adept at helping to set up workhubs as interim managers, helping to give a workhub its best possible start and enabling it to run affordably without top heavy management costs long term. Contact us if you are keen to explore any of our services:

  • viability and demand studies to test potential for a workhub 
  • business plans and grant/fundraising assistance
  • fixed fee start up service: interim management to launch and oversee the first phase of your workhub
  • mentoring of workhub staff and recruitment
  • our workhub membership management software by subscription 
  • workhub website design and content   
  • members news packages and social media tools

Workbook (freelance directories)

We run an online freelance directory for micro businesses in Cornwall: Workbook Cornwall. If you want to launch a Workbook for your area (whatever its size), contact us to see if we can help you.

Home-based business

We have produced ground-breaking research and policy reports on UK home enterprise such as Under the Radar. We were responsible for advising BIS (then the DTI) on how to monitor this sector through its surveys, resulting in the startling finding that 41% of all UK businesses are now home-based. We have an unrivalled understanding of the home-based business sector in the UK and have helped clients ranging from government departments to regional bodies and local authorities to:

  • map the incidence of homeworking, self employment and travel to work
  • use ONS and Labour Force Survey data to track changes and estimate home-based business in local areas
  • compare urban and rural homeworking trends and data
  • report on the scale, composition and economic significance of home-based business
  • use our knowledge of this 'under the radar' sector to reach them and carry out surveys and focus groups
  • report authoritatively on the sector's needs, wants, concerns and potential
  • market-test local home-based businesses' response to potential interventions (eg workhubs)
  • help inform appropriate business support, policies and programme delivery
  • advice on the best ways to enable home-based businesses to network and collaborate.                       
“I have been really impressed at their knowledge of the home-based business sector and the market for workhubs and live/work property. I would recommend them to any developer or local authority wanting to deliver a high quality scheme.”

Ashley Nicholson, Director, Verve, (Developers of Bristol Paintworks)

Live/work

Live/Work Network Ltd has an unparalleled insight into the live/work sector. We have deep knowledge of the market, based in part on running live/work property finding websites in the UK and in the USA. We have published the only national policy and research reports on live/work (eg Tomorrow's Property Today).

We have helped to ensure that live/work is explicitly recommended  in national, regional and local planning policy guidance. Clients range from private sector live/work developers to government departments, national and regional agencies and local authorities as well as think-tanks and market town initiatives. We also carry out consultancy in other countries such as Canada and the USA. Director Tim Dwelly is live/work adviser to the Duchy of Cornwall and was author of the RTPI Planning Matters module on live/work. We can help clients with:

  • viability studies to assist planning applications
  • intense evaluation and research of the live/work market at any level
  • demand analysis for developers
  • expert advice on marketing this unique property type
  • design briefs for architects
  • international knowledge transfer - learning from best practice in other countries
  • controls of live/work to ensure genuine work use
  • drafting planning and enforcement policies  
  • expert advice on obtaining live/work mortgages, freehold/leasehold and appropriate tenancies
  • affordable live/work proportions and new ideas on who to target as affordable live/workers
  • how to create effective business clusters around live/work sites
  • the opportunities for live/work schemes to bring resources to a community, eg next gen broadband, workhubs
  • a tracking service to support live/work residents and monitor employment impact/work use
  • advise on and draft credible plans and strategies on live/work for LEPS, local authorities and regional/national agencies
  • help negotiate appropriate s106 or other conditions - acting as a broker for planners and developers
  • help preparing planning/development briefs for local authorities
  • advice on choice of sites for live/work units
  • assistance in identifying preferred developers
  • assistance creating low carbon exemplar live/work schemes (eg www.cloudninelivework.com)
  • and much much more...
“We have engaged Live/Work Network for some years to guide us on a new Live/Work Quarter with a workhub at Newquay. We hope it will act as a model for similar schemes. Tim Dwelly has done so much to influence Government thinking and help  find practical solutions to the obstacles. The Duchy is fortunate to have had his  guidance from the outset and will continue to seek his expert advice.”

Tim Gray, Head of Property, Duchy of Cornwall           

Workhubs research

We set up the Workhubs Network in 2007 to bring together a previously disparate group of organisations and businesses offering a similar service - the 'office when needed'. The government commissioned us to do the first national study on workhubs, which was launched at one of our national conferences, hosted by BT, in 2010. We have been responsible for the term 'workhub' itself, which has helped to create better understanding of this new sector of next generation workspace. Many of our team have also set up and run successful workhubs since 1999. We have already carried out major viability studies on workhubs for clients across the UK (Cornwall, Kent and Devon County Councils, West Midlands, Milton Keynes South Midlands etc) and are involved in advising on a potential workhub in the city of Vancouver in Canada. We can offer:

  • viability and demand studies - based on ONS data as well as qualitative research
  • support for workhub funding through planning gain (eg as part of a live/work site)
  • surveys of potential users
  • linking workhubs with initiatives to bring next generation broadband into a town/neighbourhood
  • carbon footprint analysis - how shared use of a workhub can reduce emissions
  • benchmarking - we know what works, where and how
  • google mapping of catchment areas for workhubs
  • help in setting up effective networking and collaboration activities
  • advice on how business support, training and start up projects can use workhubs to reach their market fast
  • advice on ways local authorities can save on workspace costs by having staff use workhubs
  • advice on low cost 'plug in' workhubs hosted by local businesses/organisations
  • mentoring of newly set up workhubs
  • tracking the economic/GVA benefits of workhub membership
  • advice on facilities, services and income streams
  • and again much more...
“They are ahead of the curve in promoting and providing new types of workspace to fit the low carbon economy. Others may claim they know about workhubs and live/work, but don’t take their word for it until you’ve talked to the experts."

Pat Steward, Chair of RTPI South West, former head of planning SWRDA


Click on the PDFs below to find out more about our work or contact us now for a chat.