Many people look to Cornwall to expand their business because they’re seeking a different way of working. Whether they want to escape the crowded commute, do more with their downtime or just find the freedom and space they need to think freely. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the importance of a work life balance.
With a record number of new businesses both founded in, and expanding into, Cornwall in the past few years, we’re breaking down the reasons the region is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for a vast range of companies.
Today, that desire to work differently is reflected in a stunning array of modern, purpose-built workspaces that can be found spanning the region. From historic seaside hotels transformed into contemporary offices, to eco-forward innovation centres focused on business collaboration, these workspaces are as diverse and characterful as the Cornish landscape itself.
And whether firms are looking for a community of like-minded innovators, or a dedicated industry environment, Cornwall’s one-of-a-kind workspaces offer something for everyone
Situated in Pool, Penryn and Truro, Cornwall’s three innovation centres are purpose-built for growing businesses that value community and collaboration. The perfect place to incubate, establish or even expand burgeoning companies, a vibrant host of organisations – from charities to video game developers – already call them home.
And for good reason. The growing, dynamic companies that work here can access first-class office facilities and informal networking areas, cutting edge research, and the individually tailored business support they need to kickstart innovation. For skincare pioneers Made for Life Organics, sales have grown 200% since being based at the sustainably-built Truro location.
They truly are more than just offices. With collaboration in the buildings’ DNA, Cornwall’s innovation centres are inspiring places to work, each offering a unique opportunity to immerse yourself into a thriving business community.
FibreHub, near Redruth is also blurring boundaries by creating an environment where business and the wider community move in the same spaces.
The 20,000 square foot building is the first phase of a much larger Fibre Park and has lettable office space, hotdesking facilities, event spaces and a café. It is home to tech, digital and software organisations but is also used by students and lecturers from the neighbouring college, and the wider business community.
The existence of a hub where business and education meet means the distance between the two begins to narrow: conversations are sparked at the coffee machine, plans for collaboration are made, and knowledge is shared.
C-Space was founded by Crowdfunder and the Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) back in 2018, they pledged to give firms in the region a creative, multifunctional co-working space to network, create and innovate – while celebrating Cornwall’s unique lifestyle. And they delivered. Just a stone’s throw from the spectacular beaches of Cornwall’s North coast, the £2 million renovation of a Newquay hotel includes everything from contemporary offices and local produce café, to a start-of-the art production studio. But it’s the wealth of expert business support available that really sets this workspace apart.
With the two teams providing on-site expertise and guidance, it’s an ideal location for start-ups and established firms alike to bring radical new ideas to life. The result is an open, lively, bright, bold and vibrant working environment that provides firms with the space and support they need to grow globally – while still remaining closely connected to the region’s community, culture and history.
Cornwall is steeped in industrial history – just take a look at the mines and quarries that dot the landscape. Now, building on this proud past is the Enterprise Space for Advanced Manufacturing (ESAM), the first phase of the new Carluddon Technology Park.
Constructed on redundant china clay land donated by IMERYS and Eco-Bos, ESAM offers firms in the manufacturing, engineering and low carbon environmental goods and services sector a dedicated workspace designed to inspire. Its BREEAM Excellent offices and industrial workspaces are bespoke, sustainable and well-connected.
Even the views are spectacular; set on the top of St Austell bay, the space looks out over the softer South coast and the distant rolling hills of Bodmin Moor. Despite only opening recently, there’s already a host of innovators sharing the space. Most recently, promotional merchandising company Fluid Branding, whose clients include Google, Virgin, Sky and American Airlines, relocated to ESAM to expand their eCommerce development and new systems infrastructure.
A breath of fresh air, Our Distrikt takes a sharp left turn away from the traditional office. The premise of this dynamic, ultraflexible workspace is simple: pay per desk for however long you need. There’s no lock in fee, easy access to long-term rental and, importantly, superfast broadband. It’s built with a community of budding start-ups, entrepreneurs, freelancers and digital natives in mind. And with a lively, co-working environment providing a constant flow of new contacts, new opportunities and new ideas, inhabitants are thriving.
Innovation doesn’t always happen easily – but when your work environment suits you perfectly, it’s a whole lot easier. And luckily, there’s no shortage of inspiration to be found in Cornwall. With all this and 704,000m2 of planned new workspace, whatever the size or shape of your business, you’re sure to find a workplace you love.
Not only does the region offer a great UK base for international companies looking to expand their market, it also offers tailored support for in-county businesses looking to export internationally.
Cornwall Trade and Investment take businesses across the world to secure investment, meet like-minded entrepreneurs, explore new markets and meet potential buyers. Due to the global pandemic they launched a ‘trade without travel’ programme in 2020 – delivering virtual trade missions for a range of sectors – helping them make the connections needed for export success.
Office space costs and business rates are significantly lower in Cornwall than in London (75% and 88% respectively). As well as being able to find the perfect location for your company, Cornwall may also be home to your perfect team. With a growing hub of digital and creative talent there are three major universities developing and attracting valuable skills to the region boasting 130+ courses, from gaming to mining, and over 12,000+ students.
Cornwall boasts the world’s biggest rural fibre broadband network. Superfast Cornwall has been building a fibre-based network throughout the region since 2011. Superfast broadband (30+ Mbps) now covers 95% of premises, including 42% of premises with access to Full Fibre. The team at Cornwall Trade and Investment can help businesses establishing in the region – who require high-speed internet connections – locate premises in line with their connectivity requirements
Whether you’re looking to locate in Cornwall, or to start exporting beyond its borders, get in touch with our friendly team to talk through your needs.