In this special episode, I sit down with Freddie Forde, the founder of Patch, a unique co-working and community space company, to discuss Patch’s mission to create opportunity for people, work, and community on every high street in the UK.
Freddie shares insights into his model of repurposing defunct buildings in towns and villages, offering flexible workspace and public access to events, retail, and cultural spaces. He also delves into the importance of finding the right investors who align with Patch’s values and the challenges and strategies involved in raising capital.
- Patch’s model focuses on creating opportunity for people, work, and community on every high street. They offer a mix of co-working spaces and public access areas, such as retail, event spaces, and cafes, to cater to a wide range of needs and interests.
- Patch aims to revitalise defunct buildings in high streets that are currently underutilised or struggling. By repurposing these buildings and creating a vibrant community hub, Patch contributes to the regeneration of local areas.
- The success of Patch’s model relies on accessibility and visibility. They choose locations in towns and residential areas, rather than major cities, to provide workspaces and community spaces closer to where people live. The prominent and accessible nature of their buildings helps attract people and create a sense of belonging.
- Sustainability is a core value for Patch. They aim to create a social business that goes beyond just generating profits for shareholders. They are in the process of becoming a B Corporation, which means they consider stakeholders, the environment, and other social considerations in their operations.
“We believe we’re providing the up-to-date best use for buildings that have no longer served their original purpose.”
“There’s a huge opportunity out here. We think we’ve got a pretty good chance of being kind of a winner in this new category.”
“The point is that we’ve got the co-working operation. Yes, we’re here to serve what we call the work near home opportunity.”
“There’s a lot of money out there to which the immediate response is like, well, where is it? Where’s the yellow pages? It’s not quite that simple.”
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