Co-working space to expand with new public cafe at Hove Town Hall development

A vacant area of Hove Town Hall is set to be transformed by coworking and business community PLATF9RM.

The new ground floor development will connect to PLATF9RM’s existing space on the second floor of Hove Town Hall, which has been home to more than 200 members and 50 businesses since 2017.

An artist's impression of PLATF9RM's new space in Hove Town Hall

An artist’s impression of PLATF9RM’s new space in Hove Town Hall

The newly-renovated space will open its doors on Friday, March 1, and follows an £11 million renovation of the iconic Brutalist building in 2016

The new 4,000 sq foot space will have room for up to 200 people, and is set to ‘breathe life back into the building’.

The Church Road undercroft that PLATF9RM is converting was last open to the public as a walkway more than 25 years ago. In the intervening years it was divided into separate spaces that were used for council offices, parking permit collection, a toy library and even a wedding room.

PLATF9RM’s new members-only coworking lounge and informal meeting area will benefit from an adjacent cafe and bar space that will also be open to the public from spring 2019.

The mezzanine floors will feature four meeting rooms available to members and non-members, including a 12-person boardroom with elevated views across the atrium. Downstairs will house showers for cycling commuters, artwork, bar seating and a 100-person plus event space with a full community programme of social and cultural events. The outside will also be opened out into a cafe working space.

Seb Royle, CEO and founder of PLATF9RM, said: “Brighton and Hove has the most incredible blend of talented people and businesses, but they have long lacked a home that matches their ambitions.

“PLATF9RM exists to support new and exciting ways of working and enable freelancers and businesses to spark new connections. This venture is a physical representation of that vision.

“It will be the first PLATF9RM venue with a high street presence and public access. We’re bringing this right into the community to support our city’s unique working culture, while rejuvenating the high street at the same time.”

Council leader Daniel Yates said: “Brighton and Hove is at the forefront of new ways of working, and it’s great to see an unused part of Hove Town Hall being brought back to life, offering co-working space for people wanting to work, network, host meetings and do business.

“Collaborative workspaces that foster connections between small businesses and freelancers are an essential part of the ecosystem for this thriving part of our economy. We’re very happy to be supporting PLATF9RM in transforming this space to serve our diverse business community.”

PLATF9RM’s two existing venues at North Road’s Tower Point and the second floor of Hove Town Hall on Church Road are already home to 650 members across 200 businesses ranging from startups to larger employers. The new venue, especially aimed at freelancers, will have room for 200 more members.

Anthony Prior, director of Bagelman, added: “As a local high street business owner it’s encouraging to see this aspirational development bringing together the trends for freelance working and cafe culture. We need people with new ideas to evolve the high street and this hybrid between work, leisure and community could be part of the puzzle.”

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