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Studio/office spaces take shape on the first floor of the Observer Building.

Come to an open day at the born-again Observer Building!

The Observer Building will soon be reopening its doors to serve the community. Sharon Rhodes got the lowdown from Jess Steele, one of the key players in rescuing this landmark edifice from dereliction.

Whilst grabbing a cup of tea in the Common Room at Eagle House in Cambridge Road today I was able to catch up with Dr Jess Steele OBE, CEO of the Hastings Commons and Commoner at Large, who took time out of her very busy schedule to tell me about exciting happenings this Saturday at the Observer Building. Here’s what she had to say:

“We have an open day on Saturday on the first floor of the Observer Building where you can drop in between 11am-2pm and see our exciting first floor studios and offices which will be available to let from this August.

“This is the beginning of opening up the Observer Building and the first time that there have been real jobs in the building since 1985. There used to be more than 500 jobs associated with the Hastings Observer and its print factory and we hope that one day there will again be 500 more twenty-first century jobs again in and around that building.

“The very first set of tenants who move in will shape the future of that building and it’s so important that we get great tenants who are excited about the idea of community regeneration. These people will be pioneers in bringing the building back to life.

“There are lots of other spaces in the building – the studios/offices are our first priority at the moment but expressions of interest in other parts of the building are also welcome”.

With that I asked Jess for all the information before arriving on Saturday, and if you cannot make Saturday there a second chance on the following Wednesday evening.

Observer Building Open Days

After 37 years, the new Observer Building will begin to reopen this summer as a permanent asset to the town. Come to their day to be one of the first new tenants of workspaces becoming available to rent in August 2022.

Now’s your chance to take a space as one of the very first tenants in this inspirational building. Come and help us shape the future of the Hastings Commons!

To express interest drop into one of the Open Days – but please register on our Eventbrite page to let us know you are coming.

Open days will be held on Saturday 21 May, 11am – 2pm, and Wednesday 25 May, 4:30-7:30pm.

Observer Building, 53 Cambridge Road, Hastings, TN34 1DT

The Observer Building (OB) is a landmark property in Hastings built in 1924 as the offices and print works for the local newspaper, the Hastings & St Leonards Observer, says White Rock Neighbourhood Ventures, which is leading the renovation. After it closed in 1985 the building sadly became increasingly derelict, with various owners over the years buying and selling at profit without doing any repairs.

Thanks to the efforts of local organisations and many funders since 2019, the OB is currently undergoing development and will begin to reopen in August. Eventually it will include homes and hospitality venues as well as all kinds of workspaces, but in August we are opening the first floor which has 12 light and modern studio/office spaces, meeting rooms and shared amenities as well as a co-working space in development.

All our rents are capped to remain affordable for the long term. See here for details of sizes and prices.

**Accessibility: The construction work on the whole building is ongoing and delays due to Brexit and Covid mean that the lift won’t be installed until October, so unfortunately there will be no wheelchair access to the first floor until then. This is beyond our control but we’re very sorry about this: rest assured that the whole building will have universal access once complete.

About us: The OB forms a key part of a wider collaborative community-led regeneration in the White Rock neighbourhood of Hastings. Known as the Hastings Commons, this is an ecosystem of connected organisations, buildings and tenants that has already brought nearby Rock House, Rose Cottage, and other neglected local buildings back to life.

With thanks to the funders of the Observer Building renovation: CHART: Connecting Hastings and Rother Together, European Union: European Regional Development Fund, HM Government, East Sussex County Council, South East Local Enterprise Partnership, Historic England, Trinity Triangle Hastings, Architectural Heritage Fund, Homes England, Co-op Foundation, Power to Change & The National Lottery Community Fund, The Big Issue Invest.

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Posted 21:15 Wednesday, May 18, 2022 In: Local News

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