Open for business – the first month

As the produce started to ripen in the allotments opposite, Comrie Workspace entered the final phase of its refurbishment and began to open its doors to users. With the final touches underway and a steady stream of tradespeople to keep us company, we decided to invite users to try out the Workspace for free during the month of August – and within days we had the first tentative enquiries and visitors through the turquoise and yellow doors.

Vicky, who is a freelance arts producer working in the dance sector quickly signed up as a regular, taking a long-term space. Scott and Julie from Capture Scotland, a new photography tour company, began using the space for one-to-one strategy meetings. Others who took advantage of the free-trial period included an IT consultant, a forestry consultant, a web writer and a graphic designer. Local community group Comrie Drama also took advantage of the Workspace’s evening and weekend rates for meetings.

And we’re delighted to say that almost everybody who came along for a free trial has been back for more since we opened our doors fully at the beginning of September and started charging them!!

Visitors who come to explore the heritage of Cultybraggan POW camp (Camp 21) also frequently pop their heads round the door, curious to find out what goes on in here now. And we welcome that, because we feel it’s important to demonstrate that Cultybraggan is not purely a place with a fascinating past, it is also one that lives and breathes in the present day and holds enormous potential for a vibrant future.

When we set up Comrie Workspace, the primary intention was to create a shared office environment for freelancers and distance workers seeking an alternative to the home office. We also saw potential for it as an evening and weekend venue for meetings and events. However, we knew at the start that we also wanted it to be a community resource – we just didn’t know what kind of form that would take.

Well, I’m delighted to say that, thanks to the ideas of those people who have been popping in for a look or messaging us with enquiries, we are now getting a better idea of the sorts of other uses the Workspace could serve. We’ve had enquiries from parents, students and teachers asking about using it as a study or tutoring space – fab idea! So, we’re introducing a student rate of £2 per hour, which applies weekdays after 4.30 pm and all day at the weekend. Message us on Facebook or call/message 07516 118840 to book. Teachers are also welcome to reserve the entire space for group tutoring sessions (evenings after 6 pm or anytime over the weekend).

There has also been some demand for a private room for phone/video conferencing or confidential meetings. So, rather than add a cubicle to the main space, which would detract from the current open-plan layout, we’ve decided to create a separate room in the entrance hallway. Measuring 1.7 x 3 m, it won’t exactly be a conference facility. However, it will be able to accommodate a table and chairs for two or three people – ideal for client meetings or to prattle away on the phone at the top of your voice without fear of disturbing others. We aim to get that sorted within the month.

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