The Coworking Spaces of South Wales

( Post 9 of 25 )

Intro note: Although this post was first published in January 2015, we’re updating it on an on-going basis indefinitely. Please see a full list of updates right at the bottom of the post.

Whether you’re self-employed, freelancing, working remotely or working full-time but have a few side-projects on the go, working from home can seem great at first, but the novelty can wear off pretty fast. The distractions at home (whether it’s the washing up or the video games console!) can lead to less focus in your work, plus it can become very boring and lonely, especially as the weeks and months go by. Thankfully, the concept of coworking is growing in popularity as an in-between: you may not need full-on office space, and while you may find that you work better out of the house, the idea of ‘coffee shop hopping’ may not appeal to you. That was certainly the case with me…

Of course, coworking spaces usually offer more than just a desk, WiFi connection and coffee. Some offer business support while others regularly hold events. At the end of the day, it’s worth checking them out and seeing what’s right for you as an individual.

Also, it’s important to know that coworking spaces all tend to operate a little differently from one another. Some only accommodate ‘day trippers,’ i.e. people who pay to be there for the day. Others only accommodate residents/members, i.e. people who have a dedicated desk space all the time and pay an on-going fee. Some do both.

There are a few dedicated coworking spaces in the South Wales region. I don’t think there’s a list anywhere, so I decided to put one together…

First of all, here’s a map:

* Important note! * Please enquire and look into an individual coworking space before you plan your visit. Please understand that exact coworking space locations may not be 100% accurate (we’re pretty confident that they are – or that they’re close, for those that we’ve not visited personally), and that this map may not be 100% up-to-date (e.g. if a space closes and we do not manage to update it straight away). Thanks!


(Not working on your device? Try this link instead!)

Here’s more info about each of the spaces…

Have we missed any? If so, please let us know by tweeting us and we will add them in!

Chwarae Teg pinChwarae Teg

Chwarae TegLocation: Chwarae Teg’s office (1st Floor Anchor Court, Keen Road, Cardiff, CF24 5JW)
Offering: Monthly membership with flexible terms from as little as £7 per day
Open late? YES! (Until 7pm, in line with CTeg’s office hours)
Open Saturdays? No
Meeting rooms? YES!
Website: cteg.org.uk/about-us/dynamic-workplace/

In early 2015 Chwarae Teg started to offer a women-only coworking space from within their offices by the Magic Roundabout in Cardiff, which is about a 15-ish-minute walk out of the city centre. Coworkers get office space in their Incubator Room with a shared desk and cupboard space, plus there’s lots of other perks including access to meeting rooms, free parking, first refusal of free events held at Anchor Court, and ad hoc support available such as basic bookkeeping/payroll/HR services and business finance advice.

Hwyl Hub pinHwyl Hub

Location: Merthyr Tydfil
Offering: Various: day trippers, part-time and full-time
Open late? They’re trialling a 5-9 Club (similar to Welsh ICE – see below), available on demand
Open Saturdays? YES! Open at weekends for full members
Meeting rooms? YES!
Website: hwyl.cymru

Launched in February 2016, Hwyl Hub is a coworking space and community based in the centre of Merthyr Tydfil, to the north of the Valleys along the A470. It’s been established as a CIC (a community interest company) and was even developed as a collective effort from its members – e.g. tables were made, sofas were borrowed, etc. I’ve spoken to the guys who run it and it sounds as though they’re very serious in their efforts to help their local community – one of the most struggling areas in South Wales economically – which is great to see.

indycube pinindycube

Location: Various across South Wales (see the map above and the info below)
Offering: Mostly caters to permanent residents, but also caters to ‘day trippers’
Open late? No, although the Cardiff Bay location is open 24 hours to full-time members
Open Saturdays? YES! (Open on weekends for permanent members)
Meeting rooms? Depends on the location (but mostly YES!)
Website: indycube.cymru

indycube

indycube is perhaps South Wales’ most well-known coworking provider, simply because they have multiple locations: they have multiple spaces in Cardiff as well as spaces in Bridgend, Carmarthen, Cwmbran, Ferndale (RCT), Garndiffaith (north of Pontypool), Haverfordwest, Llandovery (Carmarthenshire), Narberth (Pembrokeshire), Newport, Pembroke Dock, Pontypridd, Swansea and Tredegar. Whew! You can also get a free day pass simply about enquiring about a desk for the day.

Sovereign Connect pinSovereign Connect

Location: Llantrisant
Offering: Offers a monthly rolling membership arrangement (from £97 per month)
Open late? YES! (Members have 24 hour access)
Open Saturdays? YES! (Members have 24 hour access)
Meeting rooms? YES!
Website: sovereignconnect.co.uk

Sovereign Connect
Claiming to be “not just a coworking/hotdesking environment,” Sovereign Connect’s membership offers virtual office facilities, networking groups, a private social media group, training workshops, and great spaces for both formal and informal meetings. They advertise themselves as an ‘executive’ space yet offer really reasonable monthly rates, with their meeting room hire and virtual office facilities available as add-ons on top. Sounds like a great space in the area, which is also not far from J34 of the M4, outside Cardiff to the north-west.

TechHub Swansea pinTechHub Swansea

TechHub SwanseaLocation: Swansea city centre
Offering: You have to be a member – either Resident or Flexible – to use the space
Open late? YES! (Members have 24 hour access)
Open Saturdays? YES!
Meeting rooms? YES!
Website: swansea.techhub.com

While I’ve not tried TechHub Swansea personally, I’ve heard good things. Unlike indycube, they don’t offer a pay-as-you-go type setup and instead cater for people who would probably be based out of there permanently. That said, they do offer a flex-level membership, for those that only think that they’ll be using the space once or twice a week.

TecMarina pinTecMarina

Location: Penarth Marina (south of Cardiff)
Offering: On-going/membership basis
Open late? YES! Anyone in the building at 7:30pm can work as late as they like, however there is no re-entry into the building after 7:30pm
Open Saturdays? YES! Members have access, but the building is unmanned
Meeting rooms? YES!
Website: tecmarina.com

TecMarina
TecMarina is a new space that opened in April 2016 in Penarth Marina. It has a big focus on office space, although there is a dedicated coworking space area and membership fees for coworkers especially. It’s an amazing space, boasting various meeting rooms and breakout spaces, a gaming room, and even an on-site gym with shower facilities. Refreshments-wise they offer unlimited bean-to-cup coffee, tea and hot chocolate, and it’s also in walking distance to a supermarket. It’ll be interesting to keep an eye on this space over the coming months and years…

Welsh ICE pinWelsh ICE

Location: Caerphilly (north of Cardiff)
Offering: Mostly only caters to permanent residents (on a membership scheme)
Open late? YES! (There’s a ‘5-9 Club’ one evening per week, meaning that they’re open until 9pm once per week)
Open Saturdays? YES! (9am – 1pm)
Meeting rooms? YES!
Website: welshice.org

Welsh ICE
Welsh ICE (Innovation Centre for Enterprise) is intended more as a permanent solution, similar to TechHub Swansea but unlike the drop-in-for-the-day setup you get with indycube. The great thing about ICE is that you can ‘scale up’ easily: for example, if you hire staff and outgrow the coworking space area, you can move into your own room. I’ve heard stories of people changing their address every 6-12 months because they keep needing to increase their office space, so at least you can do it comfortably without the change of address hassles. And while Caerphilly isn’t Cardiff per se, it’s literally only a few minutes’ drive out of the city.

Have we missed any? If so, please let us know by tweeting us and we will add them in!

Updates:

  • 02/05/2015 – Removed FoundersHub (which sadly closed its doors in late April/early May 2015 – more info) and added new indycube locations, including Ferndale, Pembroke Dock and Pontypridd.
  • 08/05/2015 – Additional minor tweaks.
  • 21/07/2015 – Added The Creative Common.
  • 04/09/2015 – Added more indycube locations (Life Sciences Hub in Cardiff, Carmarthen and Bridgend) and removed some old ones (Castle Arcade in Cardiff, Atlantic Wharf in Cardiff, Ebbw Vale and Tondu), as well as adding more info to indycube along with images.
  • 23/09/2015 – Image change for Welsh ICE.
  • 15/10/2015 – Added Xibo Hub and tweaked some of the info for Welsh ICE.
  • 08/02/2016 – Added indycube Tredegar & Cardiff (Fab Lab). Removed the details for The Creative Common and Xibo Hub – as they’ve both been taken over by indycube – and changed their pins to blue on the Google Map.
  • 15/02/2016 – Added Chwarae Teg.
  • 16/02/2016 – Added Chwarae Teg’s page link and a photo.
  • 19/02/2016 – Added Hwyl Hub.
  • 05/04/2016 – Added TecMarina and added info and a photo to Hwyl Hub.
  • 25/05/2016 – Changed TechHub Swansea and indycube Swansea’s locations on the map, as they’d both changed address.
  • 07/06/2016 – Added Sovereign Connect.