British Land has agreed a deal with serviced office giant Regus to create a new business centre in Broughton Shopping Park in Chester as part of a nationwide partnership.
Regus said it was the first deal of its kind with a retail landlord. Regus Express sites will open across three of British Land's shopping centres; Meadowhall in Sheffield and Fort Kinnaird in Edinburgh as well as at Broughton Shopping Park.
The new format will use space formerly occupied by centre management offices and will range in size from 1,300 sq ft to 2,000 sq ft. The aim is to offer business people a quiet, professional environment with co-working space, private workstations, complementary refreshments, secure wi-fi and meeting rooms.
British Land and Regus said they believe the hubs will prove popular not only with professionals dropping in during a shopping trip but also as a business destination in their own right, without the parking problems associated with city centres.
Charles Maudsley, head of retail at British Land, said: "This is an exciting partnership that will enable us to continue to broaden the landlord services we provide. Our retail portfolio encompasses locally preferred, accessible, high quality locations making us the natural partner of choice for Regus. The format will bring high-specification workspace and business services to our consumers and visitors."
Phil Kemp, global managing director of Regus Third Place, said: "Although a shopping centre might seem like an unconventional work environment, it is precisely this type of location where we see strongest demand for flexible workspace. With the rise of mobility, work and leisure time is blurring, and people want to work wherever it suits them."