Start-up offices in London: a tour of TalkTalk in Soho

April 19, 2010


This morning I was shown round the former Tiscali HQ by the general manager of the building, Maggie Roxburgh. I’d first found about this from Channel 4’s technology correspondent, and former dot com whizz kid, Benjamin Cohen; the timing couldn’t be better as my new venture needs office space in London.

It’s on the corner of Berwick Street and Broadwick Street and the 7 storey building has now been turned into TalkTalk‘s first retail store, on the ground floor; a customer lounge, on the first floor; and flexible shared office accommodation for technology start-ups, on the floors above.

There is room for about 150 desks, 36 per floor. Each desk costs £450 per month inclusive of rent, rates, security, broadband and use of meeting rooms.

Each floor has a lounge and kitchen area, and a large and small boardroom available free of charge to tenants. Additionally on the 6th floor there are extra meeting rooms, available to hire at cost. 300Mbps wireless broadband is included for all tenants though for wired connectivity you have to pay extra.

It’s been fitted out to a really high standard and it’s right in the heart of Soho, but you are paying a premium for that, and while you gain from being in the heart of the city the downside is that you’re further from the bulk of tech start-ups in Shoreditch and Silicon Roundabout.

There are other options, notably TechHub, of which I am a founder member. TechHub will add value by hosting a series of events for the tech community as well as providing casual desk hire for the day and permanent desks on a monthly hire too, but it’s very welcome to have another option. Having toured Plug & Play Tech Center in silicon valley I do think bigger is better, and while I’m realising that London is a great place for a start-up, by spreading everything out across the city there is a dilution of impact which doesn’t occur in silicon valley.

TalkTalk could have just put this building on the market as a whole and are to be congratulated for coming up with an innovative use for this building, one which hopefully makes a positive contribution to London’s tech scene.

Address: 20 Broadwick Street, London, W1F 8HT

Other options:

If you just want somewhere to go temporarily instead of working at home or in Starbucks try the British Library Business and IP Centre.
More photos of TalkTalk:

Typical office layout with 36 desks per floor:


Small meeting room, and lounge area on each floor:


Additional larger meeting rooms on the 6th floor:


Ground floor:



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