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TownSq report record-breaking year

TownSq CEO Gareth Jones, with COO Mandy Weston & Cariann Emmanuelli

Startup and coworking experts TownSq has marked its third birthday with a period of rapid growth following an acquisition, a joint venture, two senior appointments and the winning of three contracts, potentially worth more than £10m in revenue.

The contracts will see the team replicate their award-winning model of startup and small business support in new office and workspaces across Rhyl, Chester and Devon.

TownSq has also added additional services through the acquisition of administrative support business, Wize Virtual Admin and a joint venture with Wrexham-based Bank Street Coffee.

The Wize acquisition will become ‘TownSq Admin Support’ and will allow the business to offer Personal and Virtual finance and admin services to the members of its spaces across the UK. Meanwhile, the joint venture with Bank Street Coffee will become ‘TownSq Social’ and will see the team open high-quality, barista-style coffee shops at those same spaces.

The acquisition will see Wize founder Cariann Emmanuelli move into the role of Operations Director at Town Square, with the responsibility of leading on the financial and operational duties of the business. All of the Wize team will join the TownSq team and continue to service its current and future customers.

TownSq has also made a further senior appointment, with Carl Turner taking the role of Senior Community Manager. Formerly the Community Manager for the Wrexham Enterprise Hub, Carl will now take a leadership role, initially responsible for overseeing the northernmost hubs including Wrexham, Rhyl and Chester. Team members Pete Rogers and Lizzie Stone have both also received promotions to take a more active role in the development and expansion of the community in Wrexham.

The business is set to continue its rapid growth, with a further five hubs in the pipeline and is expecting to double their headcount across the UK in the next 12 months.

Their campaign – Boot the Commute – has found that 85% of people want to commit to working closer to home in the future, and this has been echoed by politicians and business leaders calling for new infrastructure and workplaces in communities. Reducing commutes that cost thousands of pounds and over 300 hours per year on average.

Looking back at what has been a whirlwind third year in business, Chief Operating Officer, Mandy Weston said she was proud with how the team has navigated the disruption caused by COVID-19.

Mandy said: “Being a business that primarily offered support through our physical spaces, it’s fair to say we were concerned with how we were going to operate with the uncertainty and restrictions of national and local lockdowns. Thankfully, we moved quickly and put systems in place so that we could continue to support our member business virtually, as well as plan for the future.

“The operational changes we have made are just a part of the wider blueprint on how TownSq will grow, and these new ventures in TownSq Admin Support and TownSq Social will allow us to support our communities even further. We are also pleased to be officially welcoming the Wize team to TownSq after having already worked together so closely for a number of years. Carl’s appointment as Senior Community Manager is also a milestone for us, as we now need someone to facilitate entire regions for us, as we continue to expand across the country.

“The future is looking bright for TownSq, and with a number of other projects and partnerships close to completion, we are looking forward to capitalising on the growing demand for flexible working across the UK.”

TownSq currently operates hubs in North Wales, Oxfordshire and West Sussex and can support people from an initial idea right through to founding and growing a business.

Chairman Professor Dylan-Jones Evans said he expects the company’s rapid growth to continue over the next year as the business seeks additional funding for further expansion.

Dylan said: “At a time when every business is facing challenges, we are proud that these new contracts and partnerships are a testament to the demand for TownSq’s services over the last twelve months, especially as we begin to seek partners and investors for further growth.

“The fact that we have secured these new contracts during these uncertain times demonstrates how the world of work is changing after Covid-19 and TownSq is already working closely with retailers, property firms and local authorities to meet the growing demand for more flexible working across the UK through the further development of small local offices and coworking spaces.”