Victorian building reinvented for 21st century working and community


A landmark Victorian building which has serviced the Leamington community for around 120 years is undergoing a major reinvention as a new co-working complex.

The community hall – on the corner of Mill Street and Leam Terrace – will feature hot desking, dedicated desks and flexible offices, a video and sound studio, a meeting area and events spaces.

The Muse Coffee House, currently in Regent Grove, is expanding into the new centre, and will open in the autumn.

1 Mill Street is the brainchild of Kenilworth based businessman Nigel Shanahan, who developed tech company Rant & Rave from a start-up to its sale to American software company Upload Software, alongside his wife Dessie.

Mill-St-23His team has undertaken a 12-month renovation and refurbishment of the 12,000 sq ft building – which has been used as a meeting hall in World War I, was home to the Loft Theatre and a Sikh Community Centre.

The centre is designed to appeal to sole and home workers, start-up entrepreneurs through to small high-growth companies – but will also be open to local charities and good causes.

Nigel said: “Leamington has a highly creative and entrepreneurial community and we believe there is a real need for a centre which allows flexible, collaborative space to enable people, ideas and business to flourish while helping charities and good causes at the same time.”

Nigel is also hoping 1 Mill Street will help retain talent in the town and is in discussions with University of Warwick to help attract and develop graduates, while there is potential for it to be a hub for 5G technology.

A new 1 Mill Street app has also been launched as a platform for local entrepreneurs, individuals and businesses to connect, collaborate and be part of a digital community.

Volunteering opportunities will also be listed as part of a new community initiative which is set to be launched through 1 Mill Street allowing individuals and businesses to volunteer on high impact projects for charity or community benefit.

Nigel added: “The aim is to open up 1 Mill Street to the community and maintain its heritage of real involvement in the town.

“The café will include a meeting space to attract group activities while charities will be able to use the building for gathering and events. We want it very much to be co-working with a heart and to have a real buzz.”