After 34 years of dereliction, a hopeful future for a Hastings icon.
We are White Rock Neighbourhood Ventures, a community-rooted developer who successfully developed Rock House from a derelict office block into a thriving mixed use space now home to 43 businesses and 88 individual tenants, all paying securely capped rents.
We have now pulled out all the stops to buy the Observer Building (Cambridge Road, Hastings), 4000 square metres of empty newspaper factory. We hope developing the space will spread the social benefits Rock House offers to the town (affordable space, collaborative opportunities, local economic growth, productive use of otherwise wasted buildings).
After 34 years of dereliction, we're excited to begin reviving the building immediately by providing capped rent work space and homes and a vibrant leisure destination, working with local partners and creating local opportunities through building's redevelopment. See more about our plans here: www.theob.org.uk
WHAT THIS CROWDFUNDER MONEY IS FOR
In order to put the space to immediate productive use and make the project financially sustainable, we want to invite tenants to rent workspace in the building by summer 2019. This requires initial building works to get the space lettable, the total cost of which is over £600,000.
Your donations will:
- Contribute a small proportion (but quickly!) to these start-up costs - Having maxxed out on the purchase, we need funds immediately available to urgently waterproof the building waterproof and kickstart the long process of resuscitation.
- BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, they will show you care - these donations will show the larger funders how much people want to see this change happen. This will help us leverage the additional funds needed to break the cycle of market failure that has kept The Observer Building derelict and realise the the building's full potential for generations to come.
If you want to get this building open again and doing good, please make a donation, however small, and leave a message about what you want the OB to be.
Thank you to everyone who shows the Observer Building project support, through donations or other means.
We have a varied collection of awesome in-kind donations from local partners and supporters offering unique, and some money can’t buy, rewards for your donations. Thank you to all of them for their generosity and support.
image: Becky Beasley - Two Napkins (Screw Up Your Eyes) 2010/2019
£5000: Limited Edition Art Print (x3)
Local Paul Hamlyn Award-winning artist Beck Beasley is offering an exclusive run of three prints of Two Napkins (Screw Up Your Eyes), 2010/2019. Size: 70x40cm unframed (80x50cm approx. framed according to artist's framing recommendation).
In her own words:
“It is awe-inspiring to be living in a town where this community asset work is happening in these tough times. It will have a huge effect on the future landscape here. It's exceptional, like watching a rainbow.”
– Becky Beasley in an article for Hastings Independent Press, 8 February 2019
£1000: Video Production (x3)
Rock House tenant Adam Clements (Tree Tunnel) is offering his video production services to the first three donations of £1000, to create a documentary-style video for you or your project or business. Adam also made our excellent Crowdfunder video. NB: reasonable travel expenses outside Hastings are payable.
£350: Photoshoot (x1)
Rock House tenant, and published photographer Cathy Teesdale ('Humans of London') is offering a portrait photoshoot sessions for you/your family/your team at a reduced value of £350. NB: reasonable travel expenses outside Hastings are payable.
£60: Nest Hut from Harbor (x6)
Local contemporary furniture makers Harbor create beautiful pieces of furniture out of reclaimed wood. Pledge £60 for one of their gorgeous Nest Huts: a birdbox with a distinctly Hastings character. One and two storey Nest Huts on offer.
£30: Reclaimed Robin
Harbor are also offering six reclaimed wooden Robins. Beautifully carved and carefully painted by local craftsmen.
image: James Robertshaw
£50: Cut and blow dry from Yard + Quarter (x2)
You may have heard of James Nash and his haircuts in The Snug at The Crown pub on All Saints in Hastings’ Old Town. He has made a name for himself as a creative and down-to-earth hairdresser, with an excellent eye for style and design. He is offering his excellent skills to the crowdfunder – please do support us and get styled at the same time!
£120 Two course for four - Celebrate the return of Tommy’s Pizzeria (x2)
£60 course for two (x2)
The guys from Tommy’s Pizzeria were so keen on the Observer Building and everything it stands for that they have offered us a place at their sparkly new tables once they reopen in Spring 2019. Grab a VIP seat with a slap-up meal to boot.