In this case study series, we’ll be shining a spotlight on some amazing UK businesses that have funded their ambition with asset finance from Novuna Business Finance. From manufacturing and construction to craft brewing and retail, we’ve helped thousands of businesses take the next step.
Today we’re catching up with affordable workspace provider Meanwhile Creative.
About Meanwhile Creative
By transforming dormant commercial space into flexible offices, Meanwhile Creative find affordable homes for a range of businesses, from graphic designers and baristas to radio stations and illustrators. The workspace contracts, which start from as little as £100 per month, are issued on a flexible monthly rolling basis so no-one is left feeling tied down. Whether it’s just a one month lease to finish a project or more of a longer-term ‘home’ for their company to settle into, Meanwhile Creative are there to help.
How we helped Meanwhile Creative expand
Meanwhile Creative were looking to grow their Bristol-based business by expanding to other major cities around the UK. We supported Meanwhile Creative by listening to what it was they wanted, recognising and understanding their specific business needs, and working with them to find a flexible asset finance solution that would facilitate growth and meet demand.
With our funding support, Meanwhile Creative were able to expand their operation and provide the SME community of Cardiff and Manchester with bustling office and studio spaces.
Full interview with Meanwhile Creative
Question: What does your company do?
A: In a nutshell, Meanwhile Creative takes on redundant buildings [and] we turn them into offices for creative industries, artists, designers, makers, any sort of small SMEs.
The company was started for affordable workspaces for small businesses and we have quite flexible terms here, so you’re only on a rolling monthly contract so that you’re not tied into anything.
Question: Who are your typical customers?
A: What unifies our customers is probably that they’re all start-ups or within the first couple of years of business. They’re looking to grow and go from bedrooms and garages into a more professional workspace and we are kind of that stepping stone.
Question: What types of businesses use the workspaces?
A: There’s a lot of diversity. We’ve got a lot of different businesses here. Because there’s such a variety, people will crossover so we’ll have the product photographer doing photographs for the makers, pole dancers will go and have a massage in the massage pod.
The container projects are slightly different, we tend to take on brown land or [we] will rent brown land and we’ll put containers into that space. Quite often they’ve just been empty for a very long time.
Question: Have you come across any surprises whilst running Meanwhile Creative?
A: As a business, one of the things that surprises me is how much our tenants are willing to get involved with things and help out. Even though they pay rent, they’ll quite often come in and help paint or help me do things which is really nice, it has a really nice community vibe to it.
Question: How has Novuna Business Finance helped your business?
A: Novuna Business Finance allowed us to grow outside of Bristol, Cardiff was the first project outside of Bristol and I think it was really important to have a financial partner who understood what we needed and the kind of business that we were.
One piece of advice that I would give someone starting a new business is to find a financial partner that understands the particulars of the way that you work.
Question: What's next for Meanwhile Creative?
A: What’s next for Meanwhile Creative is that we are opening a lot of new projects around the UK.