Listed on the NSW Government eTendering site by Blue Mountains City Council just last week, is the call for expressions of interest to establish a co-worker space in the old Katoomba library. Those interested will need to move quickly as the EOI opportunity closes on November 30, with a fully detailed tender process then commencing early next year.
At BMEE, we have been advocating for the establishment of such a facility for years. A co-working space such as this will allow freelancers, small firms and home-based businesses to work together in a dynamic, professional work environment, and for some it will mean a transition to affordable larger premises as their growth continues. Our community is made up of workers, retirees, children, students and entrepreneurs; this facility provides the opportunity for emerging businesses to collaborate in a very visible way whilst interacting with that broader community.
Close to public transport and with good internet speeds, the facility will allow individuals or small teams to work, meet and conduct teleconferences in an efficient and professional way.
With our region’s strong creative industries sector, the co-working facility is likely to become home to web designers, filmmakers, animators, and other digital media entrepreneurs.
Universities including Western Sydney University and the University of Technology, Sydney have indicated interest in engaging with a Katoomba-based co-working facility, in ways which could include the provision of programs to support business start-ups and the creative industries.
One of the benefits that we expect when the facility is up and running is that students, government departments, businesses and other organisations will know where to come to connect with the business community.
Last week, Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise hosted meetings between six local businesses and the NSW department of Industry and Jobs for NSW. These meetings explored how state government programs can support growing local businesses in a very practical way. Similar events, and others like the Western Sydney Business Centres Business Connect programs, could be held at the new facility.
Jobs for NSW have invested heavily in a new co-working centre at Wynyard Station; this Katoomba centre could work as a satellite for the Sydney-based co-working hubs.
All of this means more productivity and less commuting while we focus on industry development assisting more locals to work locally. To find out more, contact us at www.bmee.org.au
Bernard Fehon is Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise CEO.