Thursday, 20 October 2011

Spotlight on Durham Spaces

Discover Durham spaces at
Durham is proving to be a real hotspot for great business space that's available for occasional hire and longer term rent/lease.

We're delighted to be featuring a great collection of diverse and amazing places in the Perfect Places Directory.

Try searching for Durham spaces at and see the scope and variety you'll discover!

Here are some of our current favourites:

Flexible space that can accommodate a whole range of needs, from individual offices and meeting rooms through to a hall for up to 100.  Alington House is close to the cathedral and castle, with a balcony onto the River Wear.  It's open 7 days a week, weekdays until 9 pm.

Just outside Durham at Croxdale, the Honest Lawyer is a great venue.  It's probably one of those places you've driven past and wondered what it was really like inside.  Well it's great.  Comfortable free meeting space is available in the ample bar and atrium areas (download your voucher for a free coffee!) and if you need meeting/training space that's catered for too.

If you need a more permanent office, studio or retail unit, there's space available for lease in a great modern building beside the Durham Gala, in a perfect location on Claypath in the heart of the city.  If you're interested (without commitment at this stage) just provide your contact details before the end of October to find out more info.

Durham University has a whole host of spaces  you can hire, and many of them provide a really impressive backdrop for your meeting or training course.  The Lakeside Room at Van Mildert College is just one example; with its wonderful lakeside view (the clue's in the name!) it's an ideal venue for meetings and training courses, with free wifi and equipment and refreshments available on tap.

Located on Belmont Business Park, Durham Office Services is a recent addition to our Perfect Places Directory.  With spaces of various shapes and sizes available for occasional hire and rent in this modern business centre this could be the ideal place to help you to run your business.  As well as space in the form of drop in offices and meeting rooms, Durham Office Services also provides business services - from admin support to a business address - on an 'as you need it' basis.

Drop in offices, space for rent, training rooms with a view, in Durham city centre and just outside.  If you need space in Durham, Space on Tap has it covered!  Of course if you know of other spaces that Space on Tap could include in the Perfect Places directory please let us know

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Our Top Ten Twitter Triumphs

We were excited to be invited recently to take part in an event being run by Service Network, a North East network that aims to provide a stimulating environment for businesses in the region's service sector to learn, grow and prosper.

These aims really fit with our own, so we were pleased to take up their offer to speak at an event geared to supporting businesses to develop their digital footprint through using social media.  It was a great event, well attended (probably about 80 businesses there in all), and packed with social media know-how from brand agency Better and Flint Consulting.

So why was Space on Tap asked to speak, you may well ask!  Apparently because we had been recognised as a business that's positively incorporated social media into our marketing strategy.  Or, in other words, they'd noticed that we tweet a canny bit :)  

We were asked to focus our presentation towards how we'd gained profile for Space on Tap, an early stage start up business, through using Twitter.  When we started to pull together the presentation we even surprised ourselves at how much we'd actually achieved, so I thought I might share some of our Twitter successes with you.

OK, so here we go with our Top Ten Twitter Triumphs since we started tweeting in May/June 2010.

Follow us @spaceontap
1. We sent our very first tweet.  That might not sound like a triumph, but I can assure you that those 140 characters were painlessly crafted, changed about 20 times, and when the 'Tweet' button was clicked it felt like we'd arrived!

2.  We stuck with it.  We did get a lot of resistence from people around us in the beginning.  Being just the right side of 50 my peers weren't really social media types!  Understandably they saw the perils of socialising on  facebook more than the opportunities of promoting a business through twitter.  Our triumph is that we ignored the doubters and some of them are now our converts :)  

3.  The numbers.  We know that volume's often seen as vanity, but for us, at least at first, it was a numbers game.  We needed profile and that meant a large community.  As most of our community is in the North East and we connect with many of our followers offline as well as online we think it's now quality as much as quantity.  Anyway for interest's sake here are the numbers.  Over our 2 Twitter accounts @spaceontap and @colleaguesontap we have a total of 3,313 followers, mainly in the North East, we're featured on 85 lists and we've sent a total of 4,938 tweets.

4.  Brand Profile.  Space on Tap is a relatively early stage business, but through Twitter we've managed to secure a profile fairly quickly.  We often meet Twitter followers at exhibitions and events, and after only 6 months in business we were told by a follower that they thought we'd been around for at least a couple of years considering awareness of our brand.

5.  Added value for Customers.  Twitter is now embedded into our service offering - we're in the business of promoting space, so Twitter's added value to our space marketing strategy.
6.  Media Coverage.  We've had great media coverage, particularly for our Colleagues on Tap co-working days and our interest in co-working.    The Guardian described Colleagues on Tap as 'an innovative co-working project', and we've achieved significant exposure in column centimetre terms in other national and regional press from The Times to The Journal.  Although we've paid for PR in the past, and probably will in the future, on balance the impact of media finding us free through social media has far outweighed traditional paid-for methods.

7.  Trend awareness - listening.  Through Twitter we've listened, so we're increasingly understanding our marketplace.    As a result we've made changes in the business and those are ongoing.  Our interest and contribution to the co-working scene has been fed by an increased awareness of the co-working trend in the US and Europe through using social media; and our recent introduction of rented/leased space at is as a direct result of joining the conversation on Twitter.

8.  Customer Feedback.  We've had some amazing feedback on Twitter, and as well as providing us a great feel good factor (it's good to know you're getting it right!) it's also given us the energy to keep going when times are tough!  Twitter is one of the most direct routes to listening to your customers and it's great to know that people are so generous with their comments and support for Space on Tap.

9.  Global connections.  Through Twitter and other social media, we've made connections, and had conversations, with people from as far afield as San Diego, Brussels and Prague.  This had fed our interest in bringing an international dimension to our work around co-working and developing support for the home business marketplace, and our decision to license Colleagues on Tap co-working days to help people with or without space, across the globe, to connect with homeworkers through running events through our Colleagues on Tap Associate Scheme.

10.  Adding to the team.  Last, but certainly not least, is what could be classed as our biggest triumph through Twitter.  Within 4 minutes of a tweet last year calling out for someone to help me to grow Space on Tap, I'd found Joanne, our trusty Operations Manager who has been with me ever since.  Twitter created a platform for us to connect, via a mutual follower (and Joanne's friend), and our story was then featured in Woman & Home magazine in a feature article about unique ways of finding a job, so more media profile thanks to Twitter :)

So that's it - our Top Ten Twitter Triumphs, so far ....  Through realising the impact we've had with Twitter,  we're now investing more time in extending our use of social media, and of course we're still learning all the time!

To finish, here's a quick video courtesy of Service Network with 3 top tips on using Twitter from yours truly, and if you want to know more about the who, what, where and how of Twitter from Space on Tap get in touch.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Times they are A-changing

Here at Space on Tap we've been doing lots of work behind the scenes over the past couple of months to bring you new and improved services that add value to North East businesses.  So times are a-changing ...

The first and biggest change is that we've decided that there's so much scope for Space on Tap in the North East, that's where we've decided to stay.  You may know that we'd planned to franchise our business model outside of the region, and have already had a lot of interest from around the UK, but having recognised some real opportunities to add value locally we've decided to stay put, for the time being at least.

We're putting our efforts into expanding our range of services, and making our current services even better.  More of that to come ...

This decision doesn't mean we're looking inwards, though - quite the contrary.  We hope to help you to discover space around the UK, wherever you need to travel for business, but our Space on Tap services will be strongly geared to serving the needs of North East people and businesses.

So that's change one.

Change two is that in response to requests for more permanent leased space we're also starting to feature that on now too, recognising that trying to find space for rent or lease can be so time consuming and often a bit like trying to look for a needle in a haystack.  Check out our Space of the Week this week for our first example of a great place available for lease that we're featuring on

Change three is that you'll notice some more developments on over the next few weeks too.  That includes some really exciting new member services - more on those soon (make sure you register free now so you can take full advantage when they happen ... :) )

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Happy@Homeworking, Guest-blogger Jane Anderson of Radio Wellbeing

Jane Anderson, Radio Wellbeing
Thank you to Jane Anderson of Radio Wellbeing for providing our first guest blog.  Jane is a consultant and writer in environmental wellness; she helps organisations to create happier and healthier working environments to improve their productivity.

In this guest blog Jane explores the home office space as a working environment as part of a series of writings on the theme of Happy@Homeworking.  You can also read Jane's recent article '15 ways to make your home-office a happy workplace' if you want to find out more!

Workspace is changing
Power-napping, hot-desking, brand rooms, humour policy, office concierge, duvet days. No longer viewed as cranky or even cutting edge these concepts and many more like them are increasingly becoming accepted and adopted by businesses interested in attracting and retaining people who want, and need, more than financial inducement to work effectively.

Right now with resources and capacity stretched to capacity, everyone needs to work harder and smarter. In order to gain that extra ‘discretionary energy’ from their workforce, employers must think differently about the conditions they offer around ‘The Job’ itself. Many of the improvements they are making are environmental and are as relevant and advantageous - if not more so - to people based at home as to those in the traditional workplace.

People work better when they feel happy and comfortable in their surroundings
Home, lone, remote or agile workers, be they entrepreneurs or out-based employees, often work out of cramped and cluttered spaces inappropriate to their needs. This supports neither personal health nor business acuity but they need to look out for their own wellbeing because, frankly, no one else will.

In terms of workspace design, many people working from home are often grateful simply for a dedicated desk and a clear view of the door. Sometimes this restrictive scenario is self-imposed with people not allowing themselves time to reflect on how to make best use of space and time in their workspace. More usually physical circumstances determine how we will work in our home work space and it may not be as fit for purpose as one would prefer.

Whatever the home-based working situation, many of the ‘added-value’ ideas incorporated by larger organisations to make life at work more attractive to employees can easily be adapted to the home setting regardless of the individual limitations involved.

The trend in offices and administration centres, particularly creative design studios, has been for doing away with ‘claimed’ work space, or the individually ‘owned’ desk, in favour of mobility: lockers for personal bits and pieces and interchangeable laptop sites that enable workers to sit down virtually anywhere and pick up where they left off.

Much of the rationale behind this is to encourage increased flexibility in terms of thinking, communication and production. It allows workers to chose the space most apt to their specific need at any given point during the day – be it a touch-down area for impromptu discussion or a chill-out room for a few minute’s peace. It creates an opportunity for new perspective and keeps people fresh and on the ball which in the still-active business war for creativity is crucial. This design policy has been implemented less for altruistic motives than as sound business strategy. People work better when they feel happy and comfortable in their surroundings. It therefore it makes sense to provide an environment that fosters such a response.

The paperless home-office?
These days with aid of technology your office can be pretty much anywhere you want it to be. Homeworkers need not be tied to the home but can and should up-sticks and get out to pubs, cafes, park benches etc not just to meet people or co-work, but also to work in alone, in solitude in varied and inspiring surroundings. We can do it; thousands can’t, so make the most of this aspect of your work.

Back home however, which is where most homeworkers tend to gravitate to take stock, the setting is frequently less than inspiring; perhaps a desk or table with the usual accoutrements including a toy, coffee mug (dirty?) and post-it notes to complete the panorama. 

Even more mundane is the fact that the vast majority of people still do not operate from a paperless office. The homeworker in particular seems prone to paper hoarding, despite the fact that they probably couldn’t work from home in the first place without the use of a computer which was theoretically mean to assuage this problem years ago. This doubling up of virtual storage and paper causes clutter overload and unnecessary stress in many home work spaces.   

Happy@Homeworking - don't sell yourself short
Remember to enjoy your environmental freedom. Relish the fact that your homework space estranges you from regimented time constrictions, strict dress codes and d├ęcor dictats. You are the architect of your own workspace. Don’t sell yourself short by skimping on the place where you spend the bulk of your day. Ultimately, your working environment should support, rather than deplete you. 

You can also read Jane's recent article '15 ways to make your home-office a happy workplace' if you want to find out more about being Happy@Homeworking.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Where do you need space on tap?

At Space on Tap we're continually expanding the Perfect Places Directory at

Please CLICK HERE to complete our 30 second survey at  to tell us where you most need space on tap.

Thank you for your help in ensuring you can find your perfect place at

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Winning New Business: Developing your Digital Footprint through Social Media

Space on Tap has developed its use of social media since we started the business mid-2010.  Twitter has become our main social media vehicle, and to an extent LinkedIn and YouTube.  We're now developing our presence on Facebook and have 3 Blogs underway talking about space that's available on tap, Colleagues on Tap co-working events and co-working.

We're really delighted to have been asked recently by Service Network to contribute to their forthcoming event 'Winning New Business: Developing your Digital Footprint through Social Media' which is taking place on 13th October at Gateshead College (a venue we're looking forward to experiencing!  We'll be talking through how Space on Tap has tangibly benefited from the adoption of social media within our marketing approach, and some of the lessons we've learned along the way.  

Refer to Space on Tap when you book and the usual price of £45 for non-members will be discounted to only £10!  CLICK HERE TO BOOK

Mark Easby of BETTER will be the main speaker at the event, and we're really looking forward to hearing his expert input into why and how we can continue to improve our Digital Footprint; how to participate, listen, and critically how to measure impact - all great for planning our social media strategy moving forward.

Dude Pointing

Service Network is also keen to engage other people and businesses in the event who have gained from use of social media, so if you have a Twitter tale or a Facebook fable to tell get in touch with Sarah Thackray at Service Network to reveal all!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Space on Tap at the first Northumberland Supplier Expo 19th July

Space on Tap will be at the 1st Northumberland Supplier Expo on Tuesday 19th July.

Organised by Northumberland College, the event will take place at Kirkley Hall in Northumberland - a stunning location.  As well as exhibiting on the day, and meeting with all of our followers, members and associates, we're also speaking at 10.30 about one of our favourite topics, Co-working, and why it's good for small and home-based businesses.

This is a free to attend event running from 10 am until 4 pm.

Come and find us on the day and enter our free draw to have a chance to win a great book 'Go Global' by Enterprise Nation's Emma Jones, featuring lots of home-based businesses that are trading across the world, many from their kitchen tables!  Or opt for a free place at our Colleagues on Tap co-working day at Shepherds Dene Retreat Centre in Ridings Mill in September.

For more information contact or call her Clare on 01670 841268

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Home is Where the Work is?

It's great to see 3 out of the 5 businesses featured in The Times Small Business Insights article on homeworking today are North East companies Vicki Stone Marketing, Newcastle Business Hub and Space on Tap.

In our quest to get 'home' to be  recognised as a great place to do (and grow) business this is a real coup for the North East, demonstrating (again) that we're not shy of leading the field in new ways of working through adopting innovation and enterprise.

Running great businesses is far more about the people than it is about the place - we just need to make sure the right place is there when we need it - that's why Space on Tap was established 12 months ago (it's all in the name!) and why Newcastle Business Hub, recently launched by Helen and Mark Reed of Newcastle Business Village, is destined for huge success.

Home is increasingly becoming where the Work is, and don't they say that "success breeds success"?  So the better the resources for home businesses become (making it feasible for people to grow businesses effectively from home if that's what they choose to do), the more likely it will be that successful home-based businesses will become recognised as the norm.

Working from home opens up so many opportunities - it makes sense for both social and economic reasons - yet it's still deemed by many (including those running home businesses) as being somehow second best.  Do we really need the cost and hassle associated with having a physical presence these days? As Carol Lewis reports in her article in The Times Small Business Insights, "The growth of social media and the power of email mean many can work from home".  If you add to that work and meeting space when you need it, together with guidelines and frameworks that enable companies to employ staff without needing to put them up in the front room, then it starts to get exciting.  That's the journey Space on Tap's on so watch this space :)
What resources are lacking for businesses that want to grow from home?  What information, guidelines, resources and support do you need?  Please tell us what you think.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Space of the Week 22nd June 2011

Space of the Week this week is located in STOCKTON, just a few minutes from the A66, and is one of our Open Door spaces - exclusively available through Space on Tap - you can check availability, book and pay for it online making it really accessible and convenient for those of us who need to make arrangements beyond the 9 to 5!

Hiring this space will also provide the opportunity to co-work alongside the Innov8 Disposal team, one of Space on Tap's Open Door Partners - so it's the perfect place if you need a change from booking meeting rooms or office space where you don't see another sole all day!

If you'd like to hire the space for a day or longer, ask us about possible discounted rates to make it a really affordable option by emailing

Sunday, 12 June 2011

SpoTLight on Northumberland

Here at Space on Tap we're excited about the great spaces in Northumberland that we've been discovering, and we have big plans to feature plenty more great places in our Perfect Places Directory over the next few months.  We want to make sure our Registered Users who need meeting, work and storage spaces around the County have their pick of the crop!

Where's your perfect place in Northumberland?
Do you already know somewhere in Northumberland that you use, either free or for hire, when you need space on tap?  We'd love to hear about it - just leave a comment below or email us details at

A selection of the Perfect Places in Northumberland we're featuring at 

Blyth CEC is a great venue by the Quayside in Blyth and minutes from the A189 Spine Rd.  Open Mon to Sat, spaces include a great office/small meeting room for 1 to 4 people for hire for £10 an hour, and a bright training/conference room for up to 50 people for only £95 per day.  Both spaces are fully wifi enabled, have a great view of the River, and the team here couldn't be more helpful.

There are various spaces for hire at Shepherds Dene in Ridings Mill nr Corbridge, from formal 'round the table' settings to more relaxed spaces like The Garden Room - a great place to get away from it all for team meetings, focus group sessions, or training courses.  Wifi is available on tap and the surrounding gardens include a labyrinth and woodland trail.

Staying on the theme of spaces to think, this wonderful place in Simonburn, located half way between Hexham and Bellingham, has space for hire by the day.  This really is an idyllic spot if you need somewhere inspiring to write, to hide away to get a project started or finished, or simply to relax and think.  With great WIFI and access to the tearoom for a cream tea, this could easily be described as the perfect place!

And finally for somewhere completely different!  Useful Productions in Cramlington are keen to make their storage, warehouse and office space available to anyone who needs space on tap.  Whether you need short term storage for stock, equipment or documents, or just a vast space for anything from a photography shoot to a training event, this 7 metre tall space in Cramlington could be ideal.

More Northumberland spaces coming soon
We're already talking to venues in Ashington, Rothbury, Hexham and Amble, and have plenty of other spaces on our extensive database - if you'd like us to check that out for you to see if we can help you to find your perfect place just register free at and complete our online user survey, then we'll be in touch!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Cutting the tape on a new place for co-working and collaboration

Potential co-workers find out about what the Hub has to offer
Newcastle Business Village launched their brand new initiative, the 'Newcastle Business Hub' last week, supported by the Mayor of North Tyneside, Linda Arkley.  A well-attended launch party was also hosted by owners Helen and Mark Reed who, supported by Vicki Stone Marketing, did a great job of showcasing the Hub and what it has to offer.

The launch event also gave Space on Tap the opportunity to talk about the benefits of co-working, both virtually and physically in spaces like the Business Hub.

Getting out of the home office to connect with other people, and just to get a change of scene now and again, can do wonders for you and your business.

Find out more about the benefits of co-working from Space on Tap through a free webinar being hosted by The Mussel Club on 10th June - join us from your desk for 15/20 minutes at 10am.

To pre-register for your free place CLICK HERE

And a big 'shout out' for my co-presenter at the Newcastle Business Hub launch, Wendy Parvin of Conversations with Purpose.  Her infectious enthusiasm and words of wisdom about the importance of business collaboration for any business had the room entertained but also fully engaged.

Having challenged us to think of any aspect of business we do on our own, the audience was stumped - even one guest who suggested that he flew solo when writing training courses soon conceded that his proof-reader was an essential part of the process.  Wendy explained that working freelance, as she does, doesn't mean working alone.  Through collaboration with other freelancers and larger organisations great things can happen, including access to opportunities that would otherwise be beyond your reach and making a much greater impact than one person could manage on their own ('the sum of the parts etc ...').  Wise words indeed.

I've encountered Wendy's energy before, and she never fails to make an impact.  If you need a speaker or someone to support you personally get in touch with Conversations with Purpose - you won't be disappointed.  Wendy is someone who can cut through the smog to get right to the heart of the matter on a whole range of issues, from how to network through to discovering what you're really in business for.

You might, of course, be lucky enough to bump into her at the Newcastle Business Hub some day - she's planning to camp out there occasionally to benefit from the co-working experience herself.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

New co-working space opening in Newcastle

The owners of Newcastle Business Village in Benton, the venue for a couple of our Colleagues on Tap co-working days over the past 10 months, has decided to take a great step forward to develop a co-working space in the 'village'.

The Newcastle Business Hub, which officially launches on 18th May, will provide workspace for homeworkers, freelancers, and anyone running or working in a business in the North East.  The Hub will offer  flexible space as and when it’s needed, in a relaxed environment with an emphasis on co-working. There'll be a lounge area that's ideal for meetings, and other facilities will include unlimited tea and coffee, high speed wi-fi, printer/scanner/copier and fax, as well as a choice of private meeting rooms and a friendly staffed reception.

If you're interested in finding out more about co-working or checking out whether the Newcastle Business Hub could be your perfect place to work occasionally you can attend the special launch event free of charge.    

As well as being offered tasty canapes, you might also have the chance to win a free workspace for a year!  Jayne Graham from Space on Tap will be talking at the event about the business benefits of co-working for people who usually work alone or from home, and Wendy Parvin from Conversations with Purpose will talk through the 'how to and why to' of networking.  


Monday, 25 April 2011

How important's natural daylight?

A recent BBC report on a new innovation in classroom lighting suggests that lighting can have a huge impact on everything from our mood to our levels of concentration whilst studying or working.  (Thanks to Anna Dorward for highlighting the article to us)

That set us thinking about your preferences when you're looking for space for occasional hire - for working, meetings, or running/attending training courses.

Have you ever hired a space that has no natural daylight, and would you do so again? 

Please complete our one-click poll  - it's located at the top right of this Blog.  We'd also love to read your thoughts and comments too.

THANKS in advance for your views - we'll be passing the results onto venues across the North East that are aiming to provide you the perfect place for occasional workspace and meetings.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Space on Tap's opening doors so local businesses can share resources

Space on Tap's Open Door service provides a unique way for local businesses to network and share resources.

Through our research we know that there are lots of homeworkers and people who work on a remote basis that would love to have access to a local office or meeting space that's available on tap - to hire literally by the hour, whenever they need it.  Space on Tap's Open Door service does what it says on the tin!  We're opening the doors of companies across the region that have spare space, but that until now had no way to hire it out to local business people.

Through the Open Door service Space on Tap is able to feature private business space that wasn't previously available for hire in its Perfect Places Directory at, alongside other commercially available space (in a whole host of places from business centres to cinemas).  Registered Users of Space on Tap can not only view the available space, but also check availability, book and pay for it online, 24/7, making it a highly accessible service.

As well as providing access to local space, the Open Door service is also a great vehicle for business networking - both the host company and the person using the space benefit from a heightened profile and new contacts - that's what we call a 'win win'!

Spaces currently available through Space on Tap's Open Door service include:

Carrotmedia, NEWCASTLE    
Deskspace with fast broadband and river view £5 p/hr

Innov8 Disposal, STOCKTON
Meeting room for 6 people or occasional office space with wifi £12 p/hr

Meeting room up to 8 with wifi, £10 p/hr

Kinsey Jones Accountants, GOSFORTH
Meeting room or office for up to 4 with wifi £8.50 p/hr

Curtis Office Supplies, DARLINGTON
Meeting room for up to 10 people £12 p/hr

Saville Clinic, NEWCASTLE
City-centre office with wifi for hire by the hour £8.50 p/hr

Meldrum Construction Services, BIRTLEY
Meeting/training space close to A1 £9 p/hr

If you'd like to know more about Space on Tap's unique Open Door service, or to find out more about any of the spaces we feature in our Perfect Places Directory, just leave a comment below or email us today at

Monday, 4 April 2011

Space of the Week

Our Space of the Week this week is …  


at Rumana Health in Fenham, a stone’s throw from Newcastle city centre, with free parking.

* Hire for only £5.50 p/hour during APRIL *

Meeting space for 2 - therapy bed also available on request
A tranquil, peaceful space with an abundance of natural light, this is the perfect place for one to one meetings for business or relating to personal health.  It's ideal for coaching sessions, therapy or consultations, or just a bit of clear thinking away from the usual distractions of the office. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE …

Space on Tap's Culture for Success

We've been getting some great feedback from our customers - businesses that have space (that we're helping people to find through, as well as homeworkers, freelancers and people who are looking for their perfect places across the region.  

Prompted by our customers, Space on Tap recently entered the Culture for Success Awards 2011, and we're delighted that we've now been shortlisted!  We're looking forward to finding out how we've done in the final countdown this Thursday 7th April at a ceremony taking place at Northern Stage in Newcastle.

Here's a quote from Dr Anne Allen, on behalf of Barnard Castle Vision, who was kind enough to support our application with her feedback on the service we've provided to NeST in Barnard Castle

The Vision Delivery Team have asked me to convey our thanks for the time you have taken to support the new studios and Digital Hub at NeST. We have been impressed by the Space on Tap service (in particular the website service and your use of social media and e-newsletters) and also by your enthusiasm to understand and support the project. The help you’ve shown [the manager] – in giving her ideas about hosting coworking days and promoting the benefit of networking, laptop clinics etc has gone beyond what we expected.

As you know NeST is one of several ‘Digital City’ satellites. A £6 million new HUB for digital and creative businesses is now under construction at Redcar. Space on Tap is at the forefront of the thinking and promotion of these new ‘work hubs’ – and office services – virtual office, hotdesking, co-working, shared offices and studios. I value your guidance and references to relevant research and case studies for these flexible workspaces for microbusinesses, homeworkers and companies that permit homeshoring.

Many new and young businesses struggle to understand the benefits of working in a shared office
environment. The Colleagues on Tap days are a brilliant introduction to the benefits of co-working and the advantages of having access to a number of workplaces for people who work across the region.

We have examples already at NeST of businesses who are now working together and others that have won new contracts as a result of the hotdesking membership and workshop activities that have been promoted through Space on Tap.

We wish you every success with the venture and look forward to continuing to work with you.
Dr Anne Allen

Monday, 28 March 2011

Space of the Week

Our Space of the Week this week is …  
MEETING/TRAINING ROOM at The Office Company in Gateshead £70 a day or only £10 an hour including presentation equipment. Ideal for 2 to 20 people.

This modern conference room is a real find.  Nestled in parkland just beside the A1 at Gateshead it's really easy to access and SO convenient with free parking right outside and only a 5 minute walk to the bus station with regular services from and to Gateshead and Newcastle.

You're guaranteed a really warm welcome here and the staff are flexible and keen to please. Presentation equipment is included in the price in the form of a flatscreen tv and laptop or a pull-down screen if you prefer.  Broadband internet is also available.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Space of the Week

Our Space of the Week this week is …  
DESK/WORKSPACE at Carrotmedia in Newcastle that's available for HIRE BY THE HOUR for only £5 per hour. 

desk space or workspace for hire Newcastle scotswood temporary office spaceThis desk space, in an office with 2 other desks,  is conveniently located in a modern building only a few minutes from Newcastle centre and the A1, and can be hired by the hour for only £5 + VAT per hour (minimum 4 hours).  If you need a 2nd desk for a co-worker that's no problem - 2 of the desks here are available for flexible hire.   

This is an ideal solution for anyone who’s looking for an office space to use now and then, with plug-in Broadband and a communal kitchen.  

This space is brought to you by Space on Tap’s Open Door Service and can be booked online at

And check out this view from the office window ...

Friday, 11 March 2011

Hello to Katherine

Katherine Dodds, newest member of the Space on Tap team
Yay we're really happy to introduce you to Katherine Dodds who's just joined us to help Space on Tap in our quest to connect the people of the North East with their perfect places to do business, work or meet, when only space that's available on tap will do!

Welcome to Katherine who joins our home-based team which is now expanding across the region - you'll be meeting her at one of our co-working days soon, and you can READ HER STORY HERE 

Thursday, 10 March 2011

What classifies as 'Space on Tap'?

When we came up with the concept of Space on Tap, it was in direct response to people telling us that they needed to hire meeting space on an occasional basis, not for a month or a week, just on the day they needed it, maybe just for a few hours.  They also needed to find space that was available outside of the usual Monday to Friday 9 to 5.  Private space over a weekend or during the evening has been difficult to find, so we resort to the same hotel lobbies and cafes even though they don't really do the job.

Since we launched last year, Space on Tap's discovered literally hundreds of spaces that are available for hire across the region, from public spaces with wifi where the venue's really happy for you to drop in and use your laptop (as long as you buy a coffee!) and private places that are either free (again in exchange for the price of refreshments) or that are really affordable because you just pay for the time you need.  Some of our spaces can be hired for 90 minutes plus, and for £8.50 + vat - affordable, accessible, available on tap - that's what we're about.

We aren't leaving it there either.  We're spending time helping the venues across the region to realise that if they make their space available for shorter term bookings they'll get more business from people who choose to work from home, but who need access to external space on an occasional basis.  If that sounds like you, register free with space on tap and keep in touch with the amazing and versatile spaces we're discovering across the North East.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Space on Tap in Blyth

We've found two great spaces in the Community Enterprise Centre (CEC) in Blyth that can be hired on tap from 7.30 am through to 7 pm Monday to Friday and on Saturdays until 2 pm.  Located on Blyth's recently redeveloped Quayside both spaces have a riverside view, providing a great backdrop for meetings or a day in the office, and they are really affordable for anyone on a budget (who isn't?!).

The office/meeting room space that holds up to 5 people comfortably, and has presentation equipment available if you need it, can be hired for £10-12 per hour (depending on your needs) and is ideal for a temporary office as well as a meeting room.

We've also discovered a great meeting room that's perfect for training, networking events, away days and that's available for only £95 a day for up to 50 people depending on the layout.  It's a ground floor, really bright and well lit space, next to reception (so ideal for participants) and has bags of free parking literally outside the door.

We'd definitely recommend these spaces as worth a try. The Centre staff are really flexible and keen to please, so whatever you need just ask.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

New Colleagues on Tap co-working Blog launches today

Colleagues on Tap co-working days have officially taken off!  We've now run 7 successful events since Space on Tap's launch at the end of June 2010, with another 5 days already planned by the end of May.   We've already co-worked with some amazing people across the North East region, each working freelance or from home, and all adding something to our co-working experience through sharing their knowledge, expertise and experience.

We've had great feedback on the days, the colleagues, the spaces and, it has to be said, the cupcakes!

So, to add to our co-working community we've now created a new COLLEAGUES ON TAP BLOG for all things co-working, and for those who have already attended one of our Colleagues on Tap days, or plan to soon, we have also formed a LinkedIn Group, 'Colleagues on Tap'.  This Space on Tap Blog will now focus on the amazing and versatile spaces we're discovering across the region. We are also planning to separate our Twitter accounts so we can give proper focus to the co-working information as well as keeping you in touch with all things space through our Space on Tap twitter account.  So you can now follow us on @colleaguesontap as well as @spaceontap.

Our brand new Colleagues on Tap logo!
So, all change for the better!  Oh, and of course we also have a lovely new Colleagues on Tap logo, building on our open door theme we've used in the Space on Tap branding - we hope you like the new look :)

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Consider options, share ideas and gain knowledge through co-working

Pop-up office at Newcastle City Library
Another successful Colleagues on Tap co-working day took place at Newcastle City Library on 19th Jan.  Our first since the Christmas break (and snowy December!) we had a small but perfectly formed group of 7 co-workers (2 were unable to attend on the day through illness and are coming along to our next planned event instead).

Our pop up office was located on the 6th (top) floor of the library, with fabulous views across the city on what turned out to be a bright, sunny day.  The library staff were fabulously accommodating with our arrangements, and lunch in the Stewart & Co cafe was tasty.

Co-worker Angela Dawson
As well as the usual 'office banter' and chatting over lunch, we also had the opportunity to exchange ideas as a group on the subject of outsourcing, helped along brilliantly by Angela Dawson, a Virtual Assistant who runs two businesses in the North East including her virtual PA service, Dawson VA Services. 

As well as helping us to understand the mysteries of the VA and how to manage a virtual assistant effectively, the SpoT chat also allowed the group to think more generally about which aspects of their business could be effectively outsourced.  As small business owners we tend to do everything ourselves, struggling on regardless, but Angela helped us to realise that in reality this could actually be working against us (false economy?).  By passing on the management of IT, marketing, finance, admin, whatever, to someone who's dedicated to that activity day in day out, you can then more readily focus on the areas you're great at, and do more of it, rather than getting bogged down in things that not only absorb time but also make you feel pretty rubbish too!

Thought provoking stuff and an interesting discussion from which a whole range of perspectives emerged. Some of the group currently outsource quite readily, others were the beneficiaries of outsourcing decisions (marketing, IT, admin), and one co-worker's thoughts on when to outsource was directly related to their pain threshold, rather than business logic - we've all been there!

The real benefit in co-working occasionally with other small business owners is the opportunity to share thoughts on a whole range of business issues in a way that's pretty difficult to do when you work alone.  Business discussions tend to relate to your customer's business, rather than your own, and it's much more natural for these exchanges to occur during the course of a working 'day at the office' than on a planned basis. Co-working works for businesses who just need to consider options, share ideas and gain knowledge in an informal way, as they would with colleagues in a larger business, and of course a change of scene is great for everybody!