Patch, a new local workplace concept has been created to restore the balance between work, health and communities. As it eyes to launch its first ‘Work Near Home’ site in Chelmsford, the company eyes to revitalise commuter belt areas by offering community centres fit for the current era.
Now, Patch secured $1.1 million in a seed funding round led by industry heavyweight angel investors, including Robin Klein, Matt Clifford, Charlie Songhurst, Camilla Dolan, Zoe Jervier, Wendy Becker and Will Neale.
Patch ‘Work Near Home’ vision
Patch’s ‘Work Near Home’ vision is to restore the balance between our work, our health and our communities. Patch wants ‘Work Near Home’ to be the cornerstone of the Post-Covid hybrid working era, building a platform to support more distributed and locally-based talent networks in towns across the UK.
While Patch’s first ‘Work Near Home’ site in Chelmsford will be opened early in November, several more sites are on cards for 2022. The company has received requests from knowledge workers in towns including Chester, St Albans, Wycombe, Shrewsbury, Yeovil, Bury and Kingston on Thames, where there are already growing waiting lists.”
Commenting on the opportunity, co-founder of Entrepreneur First and Code First Girls, and Patch investor Matt Clifford said: “Technology has always changed the way we organise and work together. Patch will unlock opportunities for talented people based on who they are, unconstrained by where they live. We want to be a country where high-skilled jobs are available everywhere and Patch is a key part of that puzzle.”
Gerard Grech, founding Chief Executive of Tech Nation said: ‘Talent is everywhere. Opportunity is not. This is why it’s exciting to see Patch helping to unlock the benefits that technology can bring to local economies across the country, especially post Cov-19, through the planned provision of high-quality workspaces and professional networks for people and businesses. We’re excited to see them start and scale such a business.”
Chelmsford Councillor Simon Goldman, Deputy Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Small Business and representative for the BID board, said: “The introduction of a new co-working space in Gray’s Yard is a really positive scheme for the city. Providing local options for residents to work from will help them to have less of a commute which will hopefully allow a better work/life balance. Working closer to home brings many benefits for both individuals and their families, but also for the environment and the local economy. I look forward to seeing what interesting people and businesses make use of the newly available space and help enhance Chelmsford’s business scene.”
Hub for community activity
Founded by Freddie Forde, Patch acts as a launchpad for local enterprises and a hub for community activity. This will be powered by Patch Academy, a public venue with a focus on entrepreneurship, technology, and cultural programming.
Each Patch location will offer a range of working environments to its members – from private offices to co-working studios, accessible low-cost options and free scholarship places. With less time commuting and more time spent working and socialising in community settings, traditional commuters can now base their work-lives in the centre of local neighbourhoods, enabling people to spend more time with their friends and family, investing in local economies.
Patch also operates a model of giving back, with 20% of peak event space hours donated to local and national providers of community services that support the common good. Early national partners include tech skills providers Code First Girls, and with Coder Dojo, a Raspberry Pi Foundation initiative.