Barnsley’s Burlington Arcade is getting ready to open the doors to a brand new membership-based work and leisure concept, called The Works, with a little help from Yorkshire’s leading hygiene management company.

The brainchild of local entrepreneur Matt Crisp, who owns a number of successful cafes and bars in the area, The Works will offer clean and secure office hotdesk space for just £10 a month, as well as the option of combining this with the facility’s sophisticated bar area for £20 a month, plus the site’s members-only gym for £30 a month.

The Works is situated on the top floor of the town’s well-known Burlington Arcade building, and has been completely refurbished in an extensive one-year building project, which has included significant input from Elliott Hygiene – the Hull-based hygiene experts who understand exactly what’s needed to keep any kind of premises free from bacteria and viruses. The exciting new venue is due to open in early August and the team behind the unique proposition have already been inundated with enquiries about membership.

Operations Manager Karen Close said: “The ‘work, play and train’ idea came out of the pandemic and the impact of the lockdowns. We realised people would remain cautious about social mixing due to the fear of virus transmission, and whereas before COVID we were all used to standing knee-deep in people, pushing and shoving at a bar, that’s no longer what many people want to experience if they go out for a drink.

“And working habits have now changed, with many more people working from home. There are some downsides to this – feeling alone and isolated, and difficulty concentrating in the home environment when you’re always been used to separating ‘home’ from ‘work’ by going out to work in an office. Working somewhere like a café can be fun occasionally, but it’s not really ideal.

“For just £10 a month, you can access a clean and safe ultra-modern office environment right in the centre of town, with wi-fi, refreshments, and standard office features such as printers and photocopiers. Combined with the opportunity to upgrade your membership and also use our bar and gym areas, we believe we’re providing a first-class work and leisure facility for local residents.”

Members will be able to book their desk in advance, or simply walk in and choose a free spot. A conference/meeting area is also available to book separately on a daily or weekly rate, with members of The Works entitled to a discount. The bar provides a comfortable, stylish space for members to unwind with a drink, and will feature a programme of weekend live music. The compact gym includes a range of essential fitness equipment, and a personal trainer will be available for individual consultations.

The office space is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm. The bar and gym will be open Monday to Wednesday 8am to 8pm; Thursday to Saturday 8am to 11pm; and Sunday 10am to 8pm. Initially the bar will serve drinks only but plans are afoot to introduce a food service in the autumn, thanks to the owner’s network of hugely popular eateries in the area.

COVID-security is high on the agenda, and all parts of The Works will be subject to a rigorous cleaning regime. Plenty of hand sanitiser will be available for members to use and they are asked to respect the personal space of other members, but are not required to wear face masks. Karen added: “The Works will never be overcrowded, so members don’t need to worry about being able to still socially distance if they wish.”

To ensure the facility’s cleanliness reaches the best possible standard, Karen has worked with hygiene experts and long-term collaborator, Elliott Hygiene.

She said: “Elliott Hygiene have helped us with our other venues, and it made sense to use their expertise to develop a hygiene management strategy for The Works too. They’ve also trained our staff so they fully understand the cleaning chemicals we use, the importance of good recording systems, and the need to protect our staff and our members from germs as well as we can and provide the safest, cleanest environment possible.

“Janette and her team really do go the extra mile for their clients. It’s not just about sourcing the most suitable cleaning products at the best prices, it’s the glassware, the napkins, the cutlery, it’s the way she always knows where to start when I haven’t got the first idea. They always go the extra mile and deliver a truly personal service. I really do appreciate their support.”

Janette Elliott, Co-Director at Elliott Hygiene, said: “It’s always a pleasure to work alongside Matt, Karen and their team. They’ve achieved so much despite the pandemic, and have retained a clear vision and desire to deliver something very special for their local population. I wish them every success with The Works and look forward to continuing to support them as their wonderful venues develop.

“Hygiene management is no longer just an added-value element of good business management, it’s absolutely essential. We have decades of experience, a thorough knowledge of the current COVID-security expectations, and a brilliant supply chain, so we’re able to offer our clients a real value-for-money service.”