A DERELICT building has been turned into a unique shared space for creative freelancers.

Kindred Labs in Southbourne provides space for up to 12 people to work, as well as an area for eating, socialising or putting on events.

It was conceived by Bournemouth’s Grant Campbell, who used his design background to create an environment for workers who would otherwise be at home or in coffee shops.

He said the idea was different from other, larger co-working spaces. “This space is specifically for creatives,” he said.

Renovating the building involved stripping out three layers of cladding and three levels of suspended ceilings, as well as all the electrics, creating three tonnes of waste. The airy first floor was kept as a work environment but the darker downstairs was turned into a more cosy area for socialising.

“We’ve got this workspace on two floors. It would accommodate 30 people but I thought, why not make downstairs fully social and upstairs a place of work?” said Mr Campbell.

Among the first people to move into the space was copywriter Fi Holloway, of Tiptop Copy, who met Mr Campbell when they were both working a coffee shop.

“There’s nothing like it in Southbourne,” she said.

She said it was helpful to have others around to share insights.

“I think as creative, you’re always finding your way in terms of knowledge and experience.I’ve been a copywriter for 10 years but there are certain parts of what I do that I’m a bit naïve about,” she said.

Kindred Labs has found four of its potential 12 workers so far, but has passed up some potential tenants. Mr Campbell said he would rather take longer to fill it but have the right mix of people.

He said: “I thought, we all have to be really happy with people that are going to be renting it, so why don’t we do it like we’re renting a flat in London as professionals and everyone gets to chip in about how they feel the mix would be if this person came?”

A dedicated desk at Kindred Labs costs £350 a month on a monthly contract, or £295 a month on a three-month contract offering 24/7 access.

Mr Campbell said if used five or six days a week, the cost was not massively different from working in coffee shops.

He said the right mix of workers could help each other’s business. “What we could end up with is 12 individual companies but all operating like an agency where they could potentially buy each other’s services and help each other,” he said.

Fi Holloway said: “Apart from Grant, I’ve never picked up work from being in a coffee shop. You don’t grow your business unless you meet people who can help you grow your business.”