Goodbye boring office

Unable to find an inspiring co-working space in York, we created one.


Idea – Reality 2014 onwards

The Brief

To create a workspace like no other. A place for creative folk to meet and collaborate.

The Strategy

Convert an unloved building and offer desks on low-cost, low-hassle terms.

The Solution

York’s first and only creative co-working space. A hustle of entrepreneurs under one roof.

Back in 2014, we (Stuart Goulden & Rick Chadwick) were struggling to find somewhere to house our creative businesses. Everywhere on the market was either bland, overpriced or subject to long leases - or a combination of all three.

We had a hunch that others had been on a similar hunt and faced the same frustrations.

Hate something, change something

With a shortage of prime office space in the centre of York, there was no incentive for landlords to do anything else. No developer vision for anything different. Rather than moan about the situation we set about creating our own perfect workspace and to open it up to fellow creatives.

After a long hunt for a suitable fixer-upper, we stumbled upon a derelict floor of the historic Pavement Vaults public house on Pavement. The floor hadn’t been occupied for at least 15 years and we decided to get our hands dirty and renovate it ourselves. Where others saw headaches, we saw potential.

Inspiring co-working spaces
Co-working in the UK
Acollective main co working room

It would be a new experience for us both and we were lucky to have the help of Natalie (Stuart’s wife), Tim and Tom of local architecture practice DLA Design. It was no mean feat: damp needed to be treated; 1990’s carpets ripped up; toilets converted into kitchen; storage rooms turned into meeting rooms; custom desks designed and CNC’d to make the most of the space available.

After many lost evenings and weekends, ACOLLECTIVE opened its doors that Summer offering desks and office space for up to 30 creatives on low-fee, hassle-free terms.

All-inclusive everything

Membership including everything you could possibly need to run a creative business, including:

  • Super-fast Wi-Fi
  • No joining or admin fees
  • Lockable storage for your bits and bobs
  • Unlimited coffee, tea and biscuits
  • Free printing (unless you’re a printing company!)
  • Utility bills including cleaning
  • Business address at no extra cost

It certainly beats working from home, coffee shops or in uninspiring serviced offices!

The fastest growing sector of York’s economy needed a meeting place. ACOLLECTIVE is now home to lots of interesting people doing interesting things, both individually and together.

Stuart Goulden, Like No Other


Four years on and ACOLLECTIVE is proud to be home to a talented crew of designers, developers, architects, marketers, illustrators, filmmakers, writers, digital charities and other start-ups. If you’d like to join us, check out ACOLLECTIVE via the link below.