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Flexible Space Association Appoints Deep Business Centre Head As Chair

Freya Cross, Head of Business & Corporate at The Deep and new Chair of the Flexible Space Association.

The Flexible Space Association (FlexSA), the UK’s flexible workspace trade body, has announced the appointment of long-standing board member Freya Cross, Head of Business & Corporate at The Deep, to the role of Chairman, as one of three changes to the Board. 

Freya has spent the last 20 years of her career at The Deep, the internationally-acclaimed aquarium in Hull where, as Head of Business & Corporate, she is responsible for The Deep Business Centre and for the smooth running of a wide variety of events hosted by the tourist attraction.

Freya returned to the Association’s Board in 2015 having previously served from 2004 to 2006. She has been a standard-bearer for the independent business centres in the flexible workspace sector and has a 30-year track record of helping to develop regional business in Hull and East Yorkshire. 

Since 2001, The Deep Business Centre has supported over 140 fledgling businesses and the facilities at The Deep have hosted many corporate and social events as well as major public occasions including the Olympic Torch Relay and the live draw of the Third Round of the FA Cup. 

In the wider Hull and East Yorkshire business community, Freya took the lead in setting up a group of business centres as a means of communicating best practice in the industry and encouraging people to work together. 

Freya’s appointment comes following the current Chair Andrew Butterworth’s decision to step down after three years in post. Drawing on his experience as Commercial Director at Bruntwood, a company operating within the flexible workspace industry with more than £1bn in assets under ownership, Andrew has provided leadership and direction to the Association during the period he has served. He will remain a valued member of the FlexSA board.

Freya said:

“Having spent many years on and off the Association’s board I am delighted to have been appointed to the role of Chair. I am looking forward to getting to work and ensure FlexSA remains the leading voice for the flexible workspace sector in the UK.

“As an independent provider at The Deep Business Centre, the Association provided me with crucial information and insights on a range of matters relating to the operation of successful business centre. 

“The shape of the industry is changing, the property market is changing and the office environment itself is changing Moving forward, FlexSA will focus on the continuing growth of its membership and giving voice to the issues the membership is most concerned with.”

The Board has also recently welcomed Richard McVay, Vice President for Operations in the UK and Ireland for IWG, the world’s biggest flexible workspace provider. McVay’s appointment continues the trend of flexible workspace providers, large and small, being represented on the Board, ensuring a range of perspectives are considered when key industry issues are discussed.

Jane Sartin, Executive Director of FlexSA, said:

“The new appointments will ensure FlexSA is at the forefront of representing the industry across the UK. Freya is an extremely experienced flexible workspace provider, bringing her wealth of knowledge to the important role of Chairman. 

“We are also pleased to welcome Richard McVay of IWG to the Board, ensuring we retain a balance of perspectives from the largest to the smallest operators in the marketplace.

“I would like to thank Andrew Butterworth who has served as Chairman of FlexSA for over three years and has supported me through my first year as Executive Director. I am pleased he remains on the Board so we can continue to benefit from his insight and experience.” 

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