Piers Read, Managing Partner of The TIME + SPACE Co., explains how extensive research undertaken leading up to the re-opening of Hornsey Town Hall has “enabled us to understand the demands of the local community in order to respond to the needs of local people as part of the forward endeavour.”
Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre (HTHAC) is valued as a centre for the community, but also as a social and physical space with a rich creative identity. It is a future London icon and a true incubator of enterprise. The workspace offering is designed to help SME’s and freelancers realise their maximum potential by providing essential services and amenities to help them grow.
In 2019, The TIME + SPACE Co. commissioned The Audience Agency to undertake an independent report to better understand the community of Haringey. The aim was to gain data and insights into the wants and needs of the community on the future uses, programming and overall experience of the Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre once refurbished and reopened.
This initiative was crucial in the formation of the workspace and event hire offers for The TIME + SPACE Co. team – read our summarised process below. If you wish to read in more detail, have a look at The Audience Agency’s full findings outlining the quantitative data and responses collected during this borough-wide consultation.
Free at point of entry
One of the concerns was The Audience Agency discovered during their consultation was that community access would be restricted. Almost half (45%) of e-survey respondents were concerned HTHAC would turn into a venue that is within the community but out of the community’s reach to access, use and enjoy. In terms of access and affordability.
During the transition of ownership from Haringey Council to the Far East Consortium, The Hornsey Town Hall Trust brokered a Community Use Agreement which is in place to ensure that the community have guaranteed access to the building, with all communal and reception areas free at the point of entry and an accessible pricing structure across workspace memberships and hireable event spaces as well as a publicly accessible Town Hall Square and Green.
Find out more about the Community Use Agreement and qualifying criteria.
Community Use Agreement.
A need for agile workspace
The Audience Agency found a large self-employed population in Crouch End and Haringey. The pandemic has further promoted this trend of remote working happening outside of TFL zones 1 and 2.
Half of e-survey respondents mentioned they would like to see a variety of workspaces available to cater to a diverse range of needs, including communal and private working, meeting rooms, exhibition space, studios and class space. One in two also expected specific facilities to be made available, with reliable and strong internet connection and a café or kitchen. Respondents also highlighted the need for a food and drink offer – ideally an independent, affordable offer that had healthy and homemade options.
In addition, focus groups were set up to help understand how welcome workspace facilities would be within the venue. These groups identified a need for collaborative opportunities, shared skills, support for each other and to be balanced with a space for privacy. They echoed how the workspace offer at HTHAC would bring further potential as a creative incubator for start-ups, freelancers, sole traders and growing businesses.
Flexibility was highlighted as key – some would want a consistent space and others would like the option to book spaces occasionally for a few weeks a year. One of the challenges for The TIME + SPACE Co. team would be to balance the demand versus the supply, especially around studio spaces.
The Workspace offer
Although Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre cannot be everything to everyone, The TIME + SPACE Co. team felt it was important to both listen to the community and have a clear and strong vision of how the venue will successfully operate commercially.
The TIME + SPACE Co. created Hornsey Works, a workspace offer that was flexible, affordable and responded to the needs identified. With the aim of balancing affordability and quality, several membership schemes were suggested to keep the costs realistic for local users. Pricing was indeed a concern but a tiered approach allowed entry level workspace memberships to start at £199 per month.
Three different types of memberships were created – ‘Lounge’ with flexible desks, ‘House’ with fixed desks and ‘Studios’ with private offices.
For more information and to enquire about how to apply for a membership, see further details of our workspace offering and prices.
The TIME + SPACE Co. has undertaken a huge amount of research and competitor analysis over the past three years. The methodology was principally focused on evaluating the fair market value of the multiple individual venues that are under one roof at Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre and considered 1) its location and relative proximity to central London, 2) the size of the spaces combined with 3) the unique architecture of the building.
These factors combined with the arts centre’s service and product offer helped to define a business model capable of delivering a thriving arts centre with high occupancy levels that can be enjoyed by a wide variety of end users. The data collected has underpinned our pricing tariffs and discount policies that respond directly to the obligations under the CUA.
The process has involved multiple collaborations with third party experts and consultants from the arts and entertainment sectors as well as other stakeholders involved in the project, and provides Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre a robust platform to reopen in 2022 with competitively priced spaces and facilities.