Collective coworking hubs are its main offer, and have injected both Camden Town and Euston Town with a community of creative, innovative startups that contribute to the local economy. Repurposing disused buildings rejuvenates the look and feel of the high street, attracts footfall and boosts the success of other local businesses. Ultimately, our coworking hubs contribute to the ultimate goal of Camden Town Unlimited – to create a sustainable, robust local economy.
Our temporary use of buildings ensures workspace is utilised to the benefit of all local businesses in the area. The introduction of Collective to Camden Town has primed the area for a new phase as a centre for promising startups looking for a home.
Our current coworking hubs are Collective Temperance on Hampstead Road and Base KX on Camley Street. Collective Temperance also offers subsidised offices for startups that have developed to need further space for growing teams. It allows Collective to continue supporting these businesses and prime them for future success.
You can view Collective’s other previous hubs here.
Collective was offering fabulous creative workspace in a great part of town, but the team wanted to go the extra mile in supporting the next generation of promising startups. The collaborative essence of Collective’s hubs could help educate business owners, but specific courses would help to bridge the essential gaps of knowledge. We wanted to see the startups of Camden Town enjoying the success of those in San Francisco. And so began the Collective Academy. Each course serves a different purpose, spans a different length of time and will be suitable for different people.
In 2013, a three-week Accelerator course saw 10 businesses mentored by innovative business minds on lean startup principles and the creative process of developing a business. In Dragon’s Den style, they then pitched for an interest-free £10k loan which proved to be a massive boost for startups such as Grub Club.
As well as the Accelerators, we introduced a Coding Academy, Gaming for young people aged 16-18 and lunchtime specials accompanied with food from local businesses.
Our approach to the Collective Academy is to chop and change, learn from mistakes and adapt to the needs of the participants. This will eventually lead to us providing the best possible version of each course.
Popups were a major contributor to Collective’s effect on the aesthetics of Camden High Street. Whilst all Collective projects have repurposed vacant buildings, the popup shops revitalised the face of Camden Town for visitors, injected a vibrant creativity to the pavements and attracted footfall for the benefit of all businesses.
A total of eight disused shops were taken over by inventive businesses selling or showcasing their products. Perhaps the most celebrated example was the marketplace, C/159. Opened in 2014, a large abandoned building in a prime position on Camden High Street underwent a transformation. Build is Everything converted the space in to a creative marketplace; a unique shopping experience hosted by up to 14 businesses at a time – 100 over its lifespan. Vintage retailers, cafes, clothes designers and artists passed through this space and made it the standout asset to Camden Town that it became.