Hire space

We are pleased to be able to offer part of the Observer Building, namely the ground floor and the vaults, for hire over the next few months.

The building is still semi-derelict and part-construction site. Hirers should expect rough space with limited services available.

The types of hires we’re expecting at this stage are photo shoots, films shoots and ‘rough and ready events’ prepared to dress the space themselves and make use of the very basic services the building can currently offer.

In future, we do plan to service a whole array of events from the re-developed building but this will not be until late 2020.

The construction works will restart again later this year so there will be a period when the building is unavailable for hires. At the moment, the exact timings of this are not clear but we will continue to update this page with dates of availability as soon as they are established by the project team.

Left: Ground floor; Right: Vaults The spaces

The spaces

Please see images of the vaults and floor plan
Please see images of the ground floor and floor plan
Please see images of the upper floors and floor plans for first, second and third floor. These are available for hire on request with some additional costs involved.

Hire fees are established based on the type of use, your organisation (community, charity or commercial), the time of day or week of your hire and the extent of work involved by our team. Prices can vary between £100 to £1000 per day. We will agree the cost of each hire on an individual basis.

Evenings and weekends
It is possible to hire the spaces out of hours but you will need to pay additional costs for a licensed security officer to be present. This will be charged at £15 p/h.

This is because the building is still derelict and has many hazards and no fire safety system. None of the project team will be working out of hours to ensure your safety.

The security staff will be on site at all times and have had full fire-safety and first aid training. They will also unlock and lock the premises.  A member of the WRNV staff team will be on call if there is any major problem with the building e.g. a power failure. This will be detailed in your Hirers Agreement.

Electricity availability
There is a very limited electricity supply to the building meaning that only a small number of low power electrical appliances e.g. additional lights can be turned on at once or the building will trip. We will discuss this with each hirer depending on their requirements. There are up to 3 plug sockets available to hirers on each floor.

Natural light
There is no natural light in the vaults, the space is lit with festoon bulbs along the tunnels.

There is some natural light on the ground floor coming in through the polycarbonate window coverings on one side of the ground floor. There is more natural light in the morning, but the space is really only dimly lit during the day. There is one set of electric lights on the side where there are no windows.

There is more natural light on the upper floors which can be hired on request for photo and film shoots, but the hirer will need to pay for additional staff presence as these floors are not safe for hirers to use without supervision.

There are toilets available on the ground floor.
There are no toilets available in the vaults but there are several options for toilets in the surrounding neighbourhood.  

There is currently no heating provided in the Observer Building. We cannot allow hirers to plug in additional heaters as the electricity supply cannot support this.

Kitchen available
There is no kitchen available for hirers of the vaults, but there is the option of hiring Home Ground Kitchen by contacting Kate on 07914 840418.
For hirers of the upper floors, tea and coffee making facilities can be make available for a small fee.

Drinkable water
Drinking water is available from one room in the Observer Building if you hire the upper floors or the ground floor.

On street parking is available opposite the building at Cornwallis Gardens (2 hours), or up the road at both Falaise Hall (4 hours) and Priory Street car park (long stay). You can pay using the Ringo app on smart phones, or by cash or card at machines on the street or in the car park.

Unloading and loading
If you are hiring the vaults, please park on Claremont Road at a public parking space and unload your equipment via the alley. It is forbidden to park in the alley.

If you are hiring the ground floor you can unload via Prospect Place and you will need to arrange this with the project team.

White Rock Neighbourhood Ventures takes no responsibility for your equipment or belongings during your hire.

Key handover
Keys will need to be picked up during working hours (Monday to Friday, 9-5pm) in exchange for a £30 deposit, returned on inspection of the space at the end of the hire. We give keys out to hirers out of hours, but at an additional cost.

Social media
If you have created an event or are posting on your Facebook or Instagram please let us know. If appropriate we might choose to share it on our page too.
We do not have the capacity to create content to promote your event. We reserve the right to choose what we post on our social media pages.

Website calendar
If you would like us to promote your event on our calendar on the OB website, please provide us with the name, date, time, a 1-3 line description of the event and an image.

If you’re interested in hiring the space, please download the Hirers Form (WORD or PDF version available)  Please complete each question  with as much information as possible. A member of the team will be in touch to discuss your hire. 

Return your form to info@theob.org.uk


  • The completed form above. We will not invite you to view the space until we have all the details in the form below.
  • A signed Hirers Agreement document and Terms of Hire, which you will receive from us once we have agreed to hire you space
  • Evidence of how you will manage risk at your event
  • Your Public Liability Insurance certificate or similar
  • A £30 deposit in exchange for a key, which will be returned at the end of your hire on inspection of the space