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Cotton Court, Waring Street, Belfast

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Cotton Court studio space in Belfast

Workspace Availability

We offer dedicated desks (just for use by you) within studios with limited residents (we have reduced capacity and rearranged our layout to ensure social distancing and minimise numbers) and private studio spaces of different sizes.

Dedicated Deskspaces

We currently have one dedicated deskspace available within our shared workspace in our Cotton Court studios

  • £125 per desk per calendar month all inclusive utilities, rates, broadband etc (No VAT)
  • 7am – 11pm access
  • Beautiful industrial style building full of creatives in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter
  • Free use of meeting rooms over in our South Belfast facilities
  • Safe, well-lit and vibrant city centre location opposite the Merchant hotel and close to Ulster University, the MAC and lots of shops, coffee shops and bars within walking distance

Get in touch or email christine@blickstudios.org for more info or to arrange a viewing.

Private Workspace

We currently have no private workspaces available at our Cotton Court Studios. Email christine@blickstudios.org to join our waiting list.


Eligibility

The vision of Blick Shared Studios is to focus on the needs of creative industry businesses.  We want to help the creative industries grow in Northern Ireland, to be eligible for taking workspace within Blick you need to be working within the creative industries. Falling within the UK’s definition of the creative industries – ‘those industries that are based on individual creativity, skill and talent with the potential to create wealth and jobs through developing intellectual property’ – includes thirteen sectors: advertising, architecture, the art and antiques market, crafts, design, designer fashion, film, interactive leisure software (ie. video games), music, the performing arts, publishing, software, and television and radio. You will be asked to complete a short application form to ensure your eligibility before taking a space at Blick.


The Workspace

We offer dedicated desks (just for use by you) within studios with limited residents (we have reduced capacity and rearranged our layout to ensure social distancing and minimise numbers) and private studio spaces of different sizes.

Our workspace in Cotton Court, a cotton warehouse converted in 2002, has an ideal location situated opposite The Merchant Hotel and is also home to a number of other creative organisations including Craft NI, Young At Art and the Belfast Print Workshop. At our Cotton Court Workspace we offer shared and private workspace to up to 15 small and start up creative businesses. 

The space we offer is fully serviced, flexible, furnished and affordable. Our prices are all inclusive including rent, rates, utilities and superfast broadband. You can also enjoy the dedicated breakout spaces for getting away from your desk or meeting clients. 

Taking a space at Blick Studios is more than just a physical space it’s about meeting and working alongside like minded people, collaborating, learning and sharing experiences.


The Location

The studios are situated in the heart of Belfast’s creativc the Cathedral Quarter opposite the Merchant Hotel close to UlsterUniversity, The Mac and the Black Box and many other arts and cultural organisations. It is a well-lit, safe and vibrant area in the city centre with lots of different coffee shops and food and drink offerings.

Directions

Located in Belfast City Centre, our Hill Street Studio is down the street from the Harp Bar, the Black Box and the Duke of York. Whilst Hill St. is a cobblestone, pedestrian walkway, there is plenty of parking nearby. Street parking (free after 6pm and all day Sunday) is located on all surrounding streets, or St. Anne’s Square multi-story car park is a 1-3 min. walk away, whilst more cost effective daily parking rates can be found in the car parks on Corporation Street, Frederick Street or Little Donegal Street behind Belfast Central Library.


Workspace Prices

Our buildings are fully serviced and furnished, and our prices are inclusive of rent, rates, utilities, broadband and use of communal meeting spaces, making renting an office simple.

Shared Workspace Prices (Cotton Court)

  • £125 per individual desk-space per month
    (We usually offer discounts for renting multiple desks)

Private Office space costs

Prices for our Cotton Court Studios start from £275 for a small office for up to 2 people. Email info@blickstudios.org for costs of specific office spaces.


Why choose Blick?

Blick is a local, independent social enterprise offering affordable shared workspace, events, services and support for creatives in Belfast. Choosing Blick means your money goes to support the local economy and the creative industries in Northern Ireland.

We have over 10 years experience providing workspace for creatives. We know what we are doing and can be relied upon to provide a professional service as well as being friendly and approachable.

Our spaces have been designed by creatives for creatives and offer quiet, intimate working spaces in buildings with character and charm to allow for productivity and creativity as well as community and collaboration. We aim to keep our services as affordable as possible so don’t offer free coffee/tea/ additional perks just try to offer really good service in nice spaces with nice people.

We currently have three buildings in Belfast, two in Belfast’s vibrant and creative Cathedral Quarter area close to Belfast School of Art and the other in leafy South Belfast near Queens University Belfast. Both areas are lively and safe and have good access to local amenities (coffee shops, cafes, bars and cultural buildings including The Mac in the Cathedral Quarter and The Ulster Museum and botanic gardens in South Belfast).

Cotton Court Workspace FAQs

How long is the membership agreement?

Leases are for a minimum of 3 months followed by a rolling month by month contract.

What's included in my membership agreement?

Rent, Rates, Heating, Electricity, High Speed Broadband, Office Furniture, use of Kitchen, Building maintenance, Cleaning of common areas, access from 7.30am – 11.00pm

What are the payment terms?

We require 1 months rent to be paid by bank transfer as deposit to secure the space. This deposit will then be returned by bank transfer when you move out and have returned your keys and left your workspace clean and tidy without alterations. The first months rent will be due to be paid by bank transfer at the start of your rental term and invoiced thereafter on a monthly basis.

Will I have full meeting and boardroom access?

Unfortunately we don’t have a meeting room within our Cotton Court studios, but the facilities within our Malone studios can be accessed free of charge by Cotton Court Blick residents, but is subject to booking and availability.

Will I have access to car parking?

We do not offer any free parking at our Cotton Court Studios but there is paid on street parking in the surrounding streets and a number of car parks a short walk away, affordable daily parking is available on Corporation Street, Lancaster Street and Little Donegal Street and you can also park within St Anne’s Square Belfast.

What are the opening hours?

Our Cotton Court studios are open for residents to access between 7.30am and 11.00pm daily.

Will I get any extra services e.g. reception, telephone answering or photocopying?

We don’t provide any extra services, we prefer to keep things simple and keep costs down for our resident businesses and put any profits we make back into supporting the local creative economy through free creative business support events and workshops.

How much do deskspaces and offices in Cotton Court cost?

Our buildings are fully serviced and furnished, and our prices are inclusive of rent, rates, utilities, broadband and use of communal meeting spaces, making renting an office simple.

Shared Workspace Prices Cotton Court

  • £125 per individual desk-space
    (We usually offer discounts for renting multiple desks)

Private Office space costs Cotton Court

Our private offices start from £275 for a small office for 1-2 people but vary depending on size and location. Email christine@blickstudios.org for costs of specific office spaces.

What if I don’t see what I want on your website?

Please get in touch with us, we try to be flexible where we can to meet individual business needs so either give us a call or drop us an email to christine@blickstudios.org with what you are looking for and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Talk to Blick

If you are interested in workspace, virtual services, room hire or coming to any of our events or any general enquiries get in touch.

Get in Touch

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    #blickstudios on
    Like many others we have been slowly rebuilding our business following the pandemic. Doing a lot of work behind the scenes and trying to be more intentional with both what we put our energy into, but also how and why we are doing things.
As we continue to get busier  I want to continue this process and plan to begin each week with a question for reflection for myself. I thought some other people might also find it a useful exercise so if i get time each week I will share them here. 
I love this week's question "what did you enjoy working on most last week?" We so often forget why we started a business and what we used to feel passionate about as we get bogged down in the day to day work. We forget that it's possible and also ok to enjoy our work and to try to create more of that joy.
    Monday what a beautiful sunny start to the week 

#blickmalone #blickstudios #creativespace #creativehub #summer #belfastcity #belfast #southbelfast
    What one thing could you do today to push your business forward and get your week off to a positive start?

#mondaymotivation #creativestartup #creativebusiness #creativebusinessowner #creativebusinessowners #creativeentrepreneurs #creativeentrepeneur #noprocrastination #justdoit #betterbusiness #betterdonethanperfect
    We hope everyone had a lovely July break and a chance to enjoy the good weather.

We are back in the office this week and wanted to share this podcast series that we were very kindly invited by @agencyofnone  to be a part of. The series is all about buiding sustainable creative workspaces for creatives and designers. The series focuses on Dundee but includes insights from throughout the UK. We feature on episode 3, talking about our journey from the initial concept for a shared creative workspace in Belfast back in 2007 to where we are today. It was really nice to reflect back on our journey, sometimes you forget how far you have come and the obstacles you have overcome and lessons you have learnt along the way.

The values of bringing creatives together are huge, particularly following the events of recent years when people are more isolated than ever. There is a lot of work to be done reconnecting and rebuilding networks and communities. Creative workspaces can be a very effective way of building these networks and communities. Working alongside other likeminded creatives gives you the opportunity to share ideas, collaborate, innovate and learn from each other as well as make valuable social and business connections. The challenge however is finding ways to run these creative workspaces sustainably. This is particularly difficult in the current climate with rising running costs and property prices and organisations still rebuilding following the pandemic so there is lots to learn from this podcast series, if you are interested in creative spaces its definitely worth a listen.

Details and links to listen on our blog (link in profile)
    MEET OUR COMMUNITY: MALONE RESIDENT ALANNA OFFIELD SEASIDE BOOKS 

I love reading and I love books, I also like to support local creatives and buy local and independent, so I was very excited this week to get to chat with our newest Blick resident Alanna to find out more about her business @seasidebooksni

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business?

I’m Alanna, the owner of Seaside Books. I moved to Ireland from New Mexico five years ago, looking for a change in career after years of working as a social justice campaigner. I write poetry and have always loved reading. When I became disabled in 2018, books and reading were an escape from long days in bed and trips to the hospital. As a bookworm, I had always dreamed of owning a bookshop, so I decided to give it a go during the pandemic.

Seaside Books is an independent online and traveling bookshop stocking books from Irish authors and/ or published by Irish publishers. We travel to markets and community events across the country. We also offer writing workshops and help authors prepare their books to be published.

Any projects you’re currently working on?

Seaside Books recently turned a year old. I’ve got a long list of ideas for things we could do to celebrate all the fantastic writing happening across Ireland. Currently, we are planning to start a magazine to highlight emerging writers from underrepresented communities. We have been working with local authors and lovers of excellent writing to bring it to life. We are still in the very early stages, but I’m excited to move forward.

What was the biggest hurdle for you starting out and how did you overcome it?

The learning curve for starting a bookshop was steep. I didn’t have anyone who had experience starting a business in my life, so I had to do lots of research to know where to start. Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing (I still feel that way sometimes). I started planning Seaside Books during the pandemic, which was sometimes isolating. Finding a community of other folks who were starting businesses was a lifesaver.

Full interview on our blog link in profile
    ---- Room Hire ---- 

Video of our lovely Main room in our Malone studios that's available to hire

Did you know you can hire out the ground floor of our Malone Studios. We have two rooms available to hire. Both rooms are situated off our lovely glass roofed atrium which can be used to gather for events or classes or as a breakout space during classes or events. 

- Affordable rates of £15 per hour and additional marketing support for long term bookings in our Main Room. We currently have availability on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons for long term booking in our Main Room 

- Affordable rates of £10 per hour for our meeting room for regular bookings. We currently have availability on Monday and Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons for our Meeting Room. 

- Main Room fits 10 - 12 for yoga or similar activities, seats 15 boardroom or classroom, 25 as a lecture theatre and about 40 people standing 

- Beautiful space with high ceilings and original period features 

- Free use of beautiful breakout space and communal kitchen 

- Safe, well-lit, vibrant location close to Queens University in leafy South Belfast 

- We wehave a small team ensuring you a friendly, personal and professional service  

- We are a local social enterprise meaning your money goes back into the local economy and to support the creative industries in Northern Ireland 

Full details and all our prices for both spaces are on our website (link in bio)
    This week we had a quick catchup with our newest Cotton Court resident creative freelancer @emanuela_mae_agrini_art who told us a bit about herself and her creative work

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business?

Hey there! I am originally from Genoa, a seaside city in Northern Italy; my business was born there about ten years ago and bounced around a bit before moving to Belfast. My idea has always been to offer written communication for companies and individuals, but over time my core is moving more and more in the direction of a mix between visual and written communication. Although I still deal most of the time with content writing and copywriting (both in Italian and in English), I am developing some projects that can combine visuals and words, in the context of graphic facilitation, graphic recording and illustrated content.

What was the biggest hurdle for you starting out and how did you overcome it?

When I started as a freelancer ten years ago, the main obstacle was to convince companies and clients that remote work is still work: the mentality was very different from today and there was a lot to work to do on it. I always supported remote work and for long periods I have been traveling while working between the countries. Today luckily things seem to have changed.

How do you stay creative/inspired?

I pass pretty much all my free time reading books, drawing, and painting and when possible, I travel to see new places and meet new people. I love also to be around the city the more I can to listen to the stories of random people I meet. When I want to recharge, I go to the sea, which is my happy place.

What’s your top tip/piece of advice for anyone wanting to work for themselves/ start their own creative business?

Just make sure you are into it with all your energies and passion, and love every moment of it 🙂

You can read the full interview on our website (link in profile)
    Don't forget to take a break for the long weekend. It can be hard when you're self employed to justify taking time off to relax and rest and not feel guilty about it and for many if you arent working you arent earning. But there is always more that could be done so take as much of a break as possible and enjoy the peace of these extra couple of days when people don't expect you to be answering emails or phone calls

#worklifebalance #bankholiday #longweekend #balance #rest #relax #smallbusinessbelfast #selfemployed #freelance #smallbusinessowner