Hire space

Before building works begin, the ground floor and the vaults of the Observer Building will be available for hire until further notice for the following uses only:

  • photo shoots
  • film shoots
  • workshops / activities closed to the general public prepared to make use of the very basic facilities available (limited electricity, no heating, limited lighting)

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

In future, we do plan to service a whole array of events from the re-developed building but this will not be before mid 2020. After testing a few events this year, we’ve learnt that the building cannot accommodate these in its current state.

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.

Top: Ground floor; Bottom: Vaults

The spaces

Please see images of the vaults and floor plan
Please see images of the ground floor and floor plan

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. We will agree the cost of each hire on an individual basis.

Terms and conditions
You will need to agree to the Terms and Conditions and in your hirers agreement. A copy of our blank hirers agreement can be found here which is adapted for each hirer.

Risk management
We will need to see evidence that you are appropriately managing risk effectively, including first aid and fire safety. We can provide you with a risk management plan template on request. We will need to spend time briefing you on fire safety when you pick up your keys.

Evenings and weekends
It is possible to hire the spaces out of hours.

However, depending on the nature of your hire you be required 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.

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.

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 for each space for hire.

If you need to use a high wattage piece of electrical equipment e.g. a hairdryer, it is possible to make another room of the building available but you will need pay for staff presence during its use.  

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 a tap in the foyer on the ground floor of the Observer, accessible if you hire the upper floors or ground floor. You will need to bring your own drinking water if you hire the vaults.

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.

You will need to book a slot in advance to pick up your key to ensure that a WRNV team member is available to meet with you.

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