Connect Derby, the city’s primary managed workspace provider, has announced that it is reopening its seven buildings and services to tenants on Monday 8 June.
Since Connect Derby buildings were closed at the end of March, the team has been providing help and support to its 190 tenants who have been facing an uncertain time and hope the reopening will provide the city with a welcome boost that will support its recovery.
The reopening follows the creation of a robust Covid-19 risk assessment based on government guidance for office-based workers and buildings, which was approved by Derby City Council’s health and safety policy group on 28 May. Connect Derby is the first Derby City Council service to be given the greenlight to reopen.
There will be a cautious, two phased approach to the reopening of the Connect Derby buildings, which include Friar Gate Studios, Sadler Bridge Studios, Riverside Chambers, Marble Hall, Kings Chambers, Shot Tower and the iHub innovation centre on Infinity Park.
Phase one will take the form of a partial opening with reduced business activity from Monday 8 June.
New ways of working have been introduced for Connect Derby tenants to ensure government guidance on safe working practices is adhered to.
A one-way system for accessing and leaving buildings will be introduced. Access to buildings will be for tenants and their employees only. Meeting room usage will be restricted to tenants for internal meetings only. Reception will operate an afternoon service only. Details of the services to be offered by the onsite cafes will be announced shortly.
Phase two will see full business activity commence on 1 July 2020. Buildings will be accessible to all tenants and their visitors. External visitors are permitted to use meeting rooms, subject to social distancing measures. Reception will return to normal operating hours, with café services dependant on government guidelines.
The Connect Derby management team has been working behind the scenes to make the buildings safe and secure, with deep cleans of all seven buildings and full building compliance health and safety checks currently underway.
Additional handwash and paper towel facilities have been installed in all kitchenettes, with mobile sanitiser units in all reception areas. New reception screen shields, banners, floor and wall stickers with key messages for social distancing and handwashing have also been installed.
Commenting on the reopening, Councillor Matthew Holmes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transportation, said:
“We are very pleased that the Connect Derby buildings will be open for business again soon. The seven managed workspaces play a key role in promoting entrepreneurship in the city and this is one of the first steps in the recovery of Derby’s economy.”
Ann Bhatti, head of Connect Derby, added:
“The reopening of the Connect Derby buildings and services provides businesses in Derby some hope that life is slowly getting back to normal.
“The Connect Derby team has compiled a robust Covid-19 risk assessment based on government guidance for office-based workers and buildings and we’re proud to be the first service to receive this approval across all of Derby City Council services.
“Tenants returning to their buildings are encouraged to read the Connect Derby Covid-19 Building Risk Assessment and Building Occupation Policy to understand the new health and safety measures that are being introduced.
“It’s important for the economic recovery of the city the local businesses receive all the support they need during these difficult times and we have maintained communication with tenants throughout the closure.
“We recently issued an Impact Survey, which will enable the management team to assess what further support our tenants need going forward.”
The multi-million-pound Connect Derby project brings together Derby City Council’s workspaces to create jobs for local people. It provides micro businesses, entrepreneurs and SMEs with the high specification working environment, IT infrastructure and business support they need to improve business survival rates and act as a catalyst for expansion and growth.
Tenants enjoy superfast broadband, meeting rooms equipped with AV equipment, and 24/7 access. Co-working services and virtual office services are also available.