A FLEXIBLE workspace for growing businesses has opened in the same building as 486 student bedrooms.

Workspace provider Regus has taken on the office space in the new Oxford Point development.

Real estate investment firm Europa Generation let out the space through its specialist student fund. The building, in Oxford Road, provides accommodation for students of both Arts University Bournemouth and Bournemouth University.

Regus has signed a 10-year lease on the office space, along with 63 parking spaces, at an annual rent of £582,676 – equating to £18.50 per square foot. It has the option to extend the lease for another five years.

Regus says the acquisition will help with a shortage of high quality, flexible office space in the town. Research by its parent company IWG says 73 per cent of Britons see flexible working as the “new normal”.

Steve Holloway, UK network development director at Regus said: “As flexible working continues to grow rapidly across the country, this new centre will offer something new to the area’s businesses, benefitting everyone from local entrepreneurs to the larger businesses that call Bournemouth home.”

Tim Turnbull, partner of Europa Generation, said: “We are delighted to have let the offices in Bournemouth in their entirety to Regus who are establishing their first business centre in this location as part of their overall expansion. This is an early indication of Europa Generation’s capability to successfully deal with ancillary uses within our student fund generating good returns for our investors.”

The Bournemouth site was acquired by Europa Generation as part of its £165million investment in the Watkins Jones Project Montreal portfolio of six assets in 2017. Europa Generation was advised by Montagu Evans, which also acted as joint letting agents on the offices together with Goadsby. Regus was advised by Doherty Baines.

Luke Fagg, area manager at IWG PLC, said Regus had been looking to open in the Bournemouth area for several years, but its arrival had come alongside the boom in creative and digital firms locally.

“I think the stars have aligned. Regus has been trying to get into Bournemouth for quite a while but I think it coincided with the boom very nicely,” he said.

Regus provides a variety of different packages for businesses, including a “business lounge” offering which allows users to work from any Regus location worldwide. It can be accessed on a pay-per-use basis or through a membership offering unlimited access.

Co-working options offer the chance to rent a desk, or businesses can rent fully serviced, furnished offices. There are meeting rooms and breakout spaces as well as the private and shared workspaces.

Leah Marlow, area manager and team lead, said: “What we offer is different in terms of the size of it and the flexibility of it as well and I think the actual offering is professional but with a little bit of a quirk to it.”

Depending on the configuration of the offices, Oxford Point could house up to 750 people.