Ormeau Baths to waive membership fees for three months

  • The Ormeau Baths co-working and startup incubation space is giving all members a three-month membership fee break in light of the covid-19 outbreak and UK-wide lockdown.

    Following last night's announcement of a country-wide lockdown for at least three weeks, non-essential businesses have been ordered to close their doors. Co-working spaces such as Belfast's Ormeau Baths startup space have been forced to implement strict usage controls in the past few weeks and are now facing weeks or months of uncertainty.

    Ormeau Baths has now announced that it will waive startup membership fees for at least the next three months to help members impacted by the outbreak. Most of the startups operating in the space had already made the decision to work from home or close down, and following the lockdown their future seems uncertain.

    Claire Dowds, General Manager of Ormeau Baths is keenly aware of the financial uncertainties facing the companies in the building: "Acknowledging our members challenges, Ormeau Baths has decided to waive all membership fees for its startups for at least the next three months until the current circumstances return to some form of normality. Through this period, we will continue to honour any prepaid membership fees that our members have historically paid."

    The UK government's support measures for business will not reach any of the tech startups operating in co-working spaces such as Ormeau Baths. The small business grant scheme has been applied only to companies that pay rates, leaving anyone renting private offices or desk space with no support, and startups are not likely to qualify for any of the loans on offer.

    Over 60 Northern Ireland tech startups currently operate out of Ormeau Baths, and it's home to the Ignite NI accelerator, NI Screen’s Pixel Mill incubation space, and Digital Catapult’s Immersive Lab. All of these have been disrupted by the covid-19 outbreak and the lockdown announced yesterday.

    Source: Written based on press release

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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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