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Santander Work Cafés were first launched in Chile, before being rolled out to Spain, Portugal, Brazil and Argentina. Now, Santander is building on their success, and opening the first UK Work Café in Leeds.

The Work Café concept

Santander’s Work Cafés are designed to be community hubs. They offer banking facilities alongside free co-working spaces, meeting rooms, and freshly-brewed artisan coffee. The hubs also provide decent Wi-Fi, so are they worth a look?

Santander Work Café Leeds

The café will revitalise a branch that was closed last year, located in the commercial centre of Leeds. For freelancers and small businesses who work alone or from home, co-working spaces can be a useful way to focus.

Explaining why they chose Leeds:

“With its growing reputation as an innovative city attracting strong digital talent and as one of the largest financial hubs outside of London… Leeds is the perfect location for the new Work Café.”

Their aim, they say, is to “create a vibrant hub for nurturing new business ideas and fostering collaboration in a relaxed atmosphere.”

Coffee, co-working and community

Since the launch of the concept in Chile in 2016, the Work Café network has grown to over 50 Cafés. In Leeds, Santander has teamed up with coffee experts, Taylor St. Coffee, to offer hot drinks prepared by trained baristas.

Alongside the co-working spaces and bookable meeting rooms (for up to two-hours each day), the new hub will host free Work Café Talks and events designed for the local business community.

A total of thirteen employees will be on hand to offer support, with appointments available with a Personal Banker, Business Relationship Manager, or Select Relationship Manager for wealth clients.

It’s an interesting way of offering space to businesses, and will probably see an increase in the amount of Santander business accounts being opened. It’s also a more business-like environment in which to meet a client for coffee, outside of a coffee shop and all its distractions.

Who can go?

The cafés are not just for Santander customers, everyone is welcome. Santander card holders can enjoy a 30% discount on hot drinks and snacks, however.

Susan Allen, Head of Retail and Business Banking for Santander UK is enthusiastic about the transition of the Leeds site. 

“We’re absolutely thrilled to open the doors to our first Work Café here in the UK. More than a café and more than a bank, the Work Café is a whole new banking experience, acting as a vibrant hub for local businesses and the local community.”

Santander announced earlier this year that it is to close 140 branches in the UK. If the Leeds Work Café is a success though, it hopes to open more of these spaces. Perhaps we may see more Santander branches converted to Working Cafés on our high streets?

Want to pop along for a look? You’ll find the new Santander Work Café at 10 Park Row, Leeds, LS1 5HD.

About The Author

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible. Learn more about Elizabeth.

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