A space designed to allow for collaboration between community groups is officially open for business.
Officials will take the wraps off Innovation Works on Wednesday. The development, located in the former GoodLife Fitness building at 201 King St., was eight years in the making.
The space is meant to allow different businesses and agencies to take part in collaborative programming and discussion groups as well as everything from salad clubs to pet therapy.
There are already 50 co-tenants signed on to use the space who will begin moving into the building’s first phase. Some of the tenants include Mind Your Mind, the Brain Injury Association, Libro, Ellipsis Digital and several departments from Western University and Fanshawe College.
The Pillar Nonprofit Network is also a co-tenant and was instrumental in setting developing the building and the agency’s executive director says Innovation Works creates an opportunity to bring people together and move their ideas forward.
“(It’s) a co-working space that brings together nonprofits, social enterprises, entrepreneurs, people who really want to transform London (and) make our world a better place,” Michelle Baldwin tells AM980.
“It’s a space where they can have a flex desk, a permanent desk, an office and all the amenities that go along with that, meeting rooms, kitchens.” Baldwin says. “They also have programming available and that’s where the magic happens.”
The space is the first of its kind in London and is modeled after the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto with Baldwin noting there are facilities like this around the world.
Baldwin says some tenants will make Innovation Works their home base while others will have a more flexible tenancy.
Officials say the building’s second is full and tenants for the third floor are now being secured to move in by early 2017. Efforts are underway to find another anchor tenant for the fourth floor.
Baldwin says Innovation Works will also throw a community block party on July 20th to officially celebrate the centre’s opening.