Become a tenant

The Observer Building is being renovated in phases. The first phase of work started in spring 2022 on the 4 lower floors and will be completed in 2022. We are currently fundraising in order to progress other stages of the renovation.


The process for selecting tenants at our flagship project, Rock House, and the Observer Building is:

  • Express and interest using the form below
  • Our team will be in touch to invite you to an optional viewing once the works are near completion
  • Submit a formal application form – see selection criteria for tenants below
  • First filter of applications by our team
  • Invited to a panel interview with an existing OB / Rock House tenant, a company director and a local community leader from our Independent Advisory Group
  • We will let you know if you’ve been successful and begin working with you towards moving in



  • We support people who need affordable space (generally tends to be artistic, creative, tech and community organisations).

Local connection

The term local is subjective and everyone you ask will have a different definition. E.g. postcode scale, where you live, family live, used to live, want to live, who you procure from or employ and so on.

Our approach is to define the relevant criteria for localness and assign each criteria a score of 1 point, which is reviewed by a panel. This is one stage of the tenant selection process – please find some examples of criteria are below:

  • Want to put roots down in the area
  • Live / from the local area
  • Quality of offer to the local area
  • Attitude to the local area 
  • Demonstrating a superior knowledge of how their proposed use is required locally / there is demand / does not compete with existing local businesses / understanding of local context are the criteria we place importance on.

This will help us make fair comparison between applicants and choose a vibrant and viable mix of local tenants that will benefit Hastings.

Enthusiasm for our ethos and the neighbourhood

  • We share a broad set of values about the importance of DIY regeneration, affordable space, creativity, neighbourliness and local social impact. We will invite tenants to join us who align with our values.
  • Along with paying capped rents, our buildings work because of a very strong ethos of cooperation, mutual trust and respect. That’s between the tenants, and between tenants and WRNV as owner/developer.
  • Our ethos has spread to other organisations (Heart of Hastings, Project Art Works and Leisure & Learning) and together we’re building a whole neighbourhood of community buildings (39 Cambridge, 12 Claremont, 10 Claremont and Rose Cottage)  which share values and resources between them.
  • We’re interested in what you love about the local neighbourhood too – do you live and work in Hastings? Do you have a locally rooted business (employing or procuring locally)? Or perhaps you have aspirations to contribute to local life (social benefit, cultural contributions)?


  • We select tenants based on their ‘contribution’ or ‘offer’ to the neighbourhood and their communities. We think it’s important to make sure that people who make these sorts of contributions are able to stay in Hastings, despite the rising rents and house prices, because they are integral to the special character of the town. This is why we offer capped rents.
  • Our buildings are ‘self managed’ meaning all tenants are expected to participate in the development of their building and the neighbourhood. This can be anything – from sitting on the service charge committee to offering free classes to other tenants in something your passionate about to organising a social event. This is just as important as your rent.
  • BEFORE expressing an interest think about how you might tangibly contribute to the Observer Building and linked buildings.

Please fill in the below form to express an interest in renting space in the Observer Building. We will then contact you once the spaces are ready to view and we are beginning to invite formal applications.