Those who enjoy exploring the slightly off the beaten track areas of the Lake District will already be familiar with Broughton-in-Furness. 

This pretty market town is a little separate from the main tourist hotspots, but is still a mini hive of activity, with cafes and a healthy crop of independent businesses. 

Now, thanks to a generations-old family construction firm, the companies and sole traders of the area have newly refurbished office space based in one of the town’s oldest commercial buildings.  

Thomas Wright and Sons was incorporated in the 1930s and has been responsible for a number of construction projects across the North West, including building residential properties in the West Cumbrian village of Bootle and renovating others near Hawkshead. 

Hannah Wright, who is the great granddaughter of founder Thomas, now lives near Broughton and, in 2020, spotted the opportunity to convert Syke House, on Church Street, into coworking and office premises.

Syke House was originally a bank before becoming the base for local solicitors Thomas Butler and Son, who occupied it for many years before it was acquired by Thomas Wright and Sons.  

"I'd always passed it by and thought I would make a really good office space," said Hannah. "I previously lived in York and I’d seen the growth of flexible office space for small businesses, independents and freelancers and we thought it would be an opportunity to do something like that for the Furness peninsula and South Lakes area." 

Syke House Offices opened for business last April, with six offices - some of which can be joined together to provide larger spaces - as well as a coworking area and has been designed with small businesses in mind.  

The refurbishment involved redecorating the space, as well as rewiring, new plumbing and the addition of a meeting room and kitchenette. Users so far have included a travel agent, graphic designer and various other freelancers and sole traders. 

Hannah has overseen the project alongside father Brian. "I would say the main thing that people want is flexibility," she said.

"Whatever the size of the space, people are looking for that agility within the workspace. The cost of working at home is rising now and I think that's going to have an impact as well."