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COLLABORATE, CO-WORK, NETWORK

Libraries offer cost-effective room hire for businesses in Newton Abbot and Exeter

Start-ups, sole traders and small businesses in Exeter and Newton Abbot are being given the opportunity for low-cost regular room hire in their local libraries.

Libraries Unlimited, the charity which runs the libraries in Devon and Torbay, say they unusually have free spaces to hire in their buildings in the two towns, which are normally fully booked. The rooms in Newton Abbot and Exeter can be used for regular working, co-working, meetings, and training – or even for relocating your office to the library on a more permanent basis.

The spaces in Exeter Library are located in the bright, modern and vibrant library building in the centre of the city. Rooms cost from £22 per hour, and include board rooms for up to 35 people, and group rooms that can take up to 45 people. There’s free WiFi, wheelchair access, good public transport links, car parking nearby and a popular on-site café. Discounts are available for non-profit organisations, and rooms in some libraries can be hired at weekends and outside regular library hours by arrangement.

There are a wide variety of rooms available at the Passmore Centre in Market Street in Newton Abbot. The town centre location in an historic building has a nearby car park, free WiFi, a café and is wheelchair accessible. Room rental can include a projector and screen, a laptop hearing loop, flipcharts and catering. Rates start at just £9.90 per hour and discounts are available for non-profit organisations. Rooms in some libraries can also be rented outside regular library hours by arrangement.

Rachel Payne from Libraries Unlimited said: “Our room hire is thriving across Devon and is normally heavily booked. But we’ve had quite a rare opportunity arise with a couple of spaces becoming available in Exeter and Newton Abbot and we’re keen to spread the word around local businesses. We host all kinds of businesses from dedicated long term office space for small start ups to growing businesses, sole traders who need an occasional meeting room or the companionship of coworking, to larger businesses who need somewhere to hold a board meeting. We get such positive feedback from those who hire our rooms, and they also like that their fee will go to supporting libraries at the heart of their communities all over Devon and Torbay.”

There are also similar facilities available for rent at many libraries in Devon and Torbay, including Barnstaple, Cullompton, Honiton, Kingsbridge and Paignton. They can all be hired short or long term.

Debbie Stafford at Youth Hub Devon said: “We moved into Exeter Library at the beginning of April and haven’t looked back. The centre is buzzing with community life and we are in the perfect place to raise awareness of our Youth Hub Devon service and what we provide, and increase our footfall. The staff and volunteers are helpful and supportive and quick to respond to any queries we may have about the room hire or facilities within the library.”

“Our recent Youth Hub celebration event was a great success thanks to the flexibility and support of the centre manager and team, and we look forward to working more closely together in the near future.”

As well as room hire, Newton Abbot and Teignmouth libraries are home to Work:Spaces – modern co-working facilities that have been developed as part of the network of Devon Work Hubs.  Work:Spaces offer desks for a day (from just £10), ongoing office space, or somewhere to regularly collaborate, get inspired and network.

Work:Space customers receive free Wi-Fi, access to bike storage (Teignmouth) and showers (Newton Abbot), tea and coffee making facilities and benefit from opportunities for networking and collaboration. Both Work:Spaces are in convenient town centre locations, with full wheelchair access.

Virtual Assistant Joanne Manville said: “I need a change of scenery and that’s where the work hub at Newton Abbot has been amazing. It’s a lovely place to be…..very central in Newton Abbot, and a huge amount of effort has been put into making the work hub work for people…..what I was really impressed with at Newton Abbot, that I haven’t seen at other work hubs, is that they’ve got computer keyboards and monitors all set up ready for you. It just means I can focus on doing more creative business development things and having that change of scenery really helps facilitate that.”

Libraries in Devon and Torbay are run by Libraries Unlimited, an independent staff and community owned charity. Join up for free by filling in the online form at devonlibraries.org.uk or torbaylibraries.org.uk. Follow Libraries Unlimited on Facebook.

To discuss your room hire requirements including the possibility of moving your office to a library, please get in touch on 0333 2342123 or email [email protected]. For further information and full contact details please visit our web page librariesunlimited.org.uk.