If you follow me on social media, you might know that I recently took up some workspace at the newly launched Herdwork.
I’ve worked from home for nearly four years(!) And without sounding too Jack-in-The-Shining-esque, it’s all too easy to feel a bit cabin fever-y when you live and work in the same place 24/7. There’s only so many times you can set up shop in cafés too.
So, I’ve been looking for office space, or co-working space, for probably around three years now. I’ve been wary not to just sign up anywhere. Finding the right space that works best for me and ticks all the boxes has been essential.
There are some great spots around South Cumbria and North Lancashire. But part of the reason why I went freelance was to cut out a hefty commute (I used to do a train commute of at least 90 minutes each way to and from Manchester). This meant the location was a deal-breaker for me. Especially too because I have my little PR assistant, aka Poppy the Mischievous Cockapoo. So I wanted to be close enough to be able to nip home and either let her out or take her for a walk at lunchtime – or better yet, bring her with me (depending on how mischievous she’s feeling that day, of course).
I first noticed Herdwork on Instagram and did a genuine double-take when I saw that the building was just five minutes down the road from me, at Underley Business Centre.
The space itself is stunning – tastefully decorated, light and airy, with open plan work areas, chic meeting rooms and a courtyard. It’s also in the most beautiful location, set in 5,000 acres of open countryside on the 14th-century Underley Estate, along the River Lune. It’s a short walk from Kirkby town centre and a two-minute drive, with plenty of parking spaces.
I’m proud to say that Herdwork is now a client of mine and although I might be a smidge biased, I do think it must be one of the loveliest places to work in the whole of the UK.
The ethos of Herdwork is to help creatives, freelancers, start-ups and established brands flourish in a rural setting. You might’ve noticed their sister site in Windermere, which is also in a gorgeous location within The Matson Ground Estate at Low Cleabarrow Business Centre.
Cumbria couple Zoe and Matt Spence established Herdwork after growing tired of the polarising differences between their rural offices and their city-based ones in Manchester and London. They now want to help people escape the confines of the city and join the reverse commute, as they believe you can live and work in the countryside – and you can do it in a workspace that rivals those in the cities.
It’s a fascinating talking point. As a freelancer, I’ve been astounded at the remote working offerings in cities such as Manchester. Whenever I’ve been in the city for work, I’ve headed straight to Ziferblat, where you pay 8p per minute and have access to unlimited coffee, cake, snacks and wifi. It made me question why Cumbria was so behind the times when it came to co-working, as there’s a genuinely thriving self-employed community here.
Now, Herdwork looks to fill that gap. Businesses and freelancers can choose from a selection of different packages, without restrictive contracts. The options include part-time, hot desk, dedicated desk and private office. There is also the option for day access and bookable meeting rooms.
If like me, you’ve been searching for the perfect working space in or close to Kirkby Lonsdale, then Herdwork is hosting its official launch event on Wednesday, 20th November, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Come and have a look around, and enjoy some festive nibbles and bubbles to celebrate its opening.
For more information about Herdwork, check out the website or email email@example.com