Member News

Seb Royle's Letter to Members II


Hello everyone,

My last members letter was almost exactly six months ago – what a ride it’s been since then!

We opened The Grounds at Hove Town Hall in March. This was the most challenging business project I’ve been a part of and watching it come to life has been a well-earned pleasure. I originally saw the space in April 2016 so it was nearly three years of work, during which our vision was tested on many occasions. Thankfully we stuck to our guns and now PLATF9RM has a beautiful space that I hope everyone feels proud of.

We are approaching full capacity there now. This is great news but I personally feel The Grounds hasn’t reached its full potential...yet! We have a license from 7am to 11pm, seven days a week, and we want unique, informative and community-minded events happening on a daily basis. We’ve already had some huge successes – not least Kickass Women, which brought together the city’s most inspirational business women. It was an emotional day for all involved and we want more.


The walls at PLATF9RM hum with creativity, so we’re putting out a call for members to approach us with ideas: whether you want to curate a supperclub, a workshop, a conference or a comedy night, we’d love to work with you on creating something special that will enrich our members and also Hove’s community. We have an amazing soundsystem there too – as a longtime dance music fan this makes me very happy – and we’d love to see musicians and DJs putting it through its paces.


A key part of the PLATF9RM ethos has been to do good in the community and we’ve been supporting the Clock Tower Sanctuary as our chosen charity. They do life-changing work with Brighton’s young homeless population and I’m proud to announce that on July 4th I’m doing a sponsored abseil off the Brighton i360. I actually did my first ever abseil from the Inaccessible Pinnacle on the Isle of Skye last weekend. And it went well! So I’m feeling quietly okay about the i360 (though perhaps don’t hold me to this on the morning of the jump…).


Hopefully some of the PLATF9RM team will be there to cheer me on and I cannot praise them enough. They have all been extraordinary these last six months and propel us onward with their creativity and ambition.

Because of their dedication, I honestly don’t think about the day-to-day running of the business and instead focus on where PLATF9RM is going next. In fact: that’s something I’m often asked by members. ‘What’s the next project?’ I’m so lucky they take an interest in our journey but am pleased to say we’re currently enjoying a relative period of calm. Since opening at the end of 2016, we’ve been expanding relentlessly and – for a short time at least– we’re going to take stock. We want to give the business room to breathe and let The Grounds evolve. And it’s summer! What better place to be than Brighton...!

If you'd like to contribute to my charity abseil, please click through HERE, and give a little, it's for a great cause!


Thank you for reading,


Member of the Week - Helen Vits

Introducing Helen Vits; Business Development Manager for My Brighton Hotel, a passion for events and travel, settling in as a new Brighton dweller.

Hello Helen, firstly, how did your passion for events come about?

I love people, and that’s really what events are all about. I love the feeling you get when you see you’ve helped made someone’s experience great. The moment where you’re able to take a step back, and watch everyone enjoy something you’ve worked on is incredible.

I’ve worked in and around events for over a decade and its non-stop, but someone once told me to never forget to pause and take a moment to look around and be proud of what you have created.


What is it you bring to the table at My Brighton Hotel?

From early on I was so drawn to their ethos, the team focus and their love for local culture. As their Business Development Manager, I’m a part of that, helping to make sure the brand is living and breathing that ethos here in Brighton. It sounds simple, but we do that by making friends, staying in touch with old ones and getting to know the new faces in the city. We love finding out what people are doing in the city, what they’re up to or working on, because we like to think we can help in some way.

I remember the first time a member of staff showed me around My Brighton, and they told me about all the little details in the hotel like the Brazilian Quartz crystal in the lobby or that the coffee table in the lobby made from reclaimed wood from the old pier. I think that being a Brightonian really comes down to loving the city and paying attention to the big things and little things that visitors might miss – and perhaps that’s our biggest role at My Brighton, to shine a light of this great city’s history. And on a personal note, I also like to think I help contribute to the hotel’s rebellious reputation!

Has there been a particular experience at work that stood the test of time?

Launching My Brighton’s Cultural Programme has been amazing. More than anything its an idea and a promise that we’re always here for our neighbourhood. Whether it’s artists, businesses, foodies or musicians – the programme is really for the city. And because MY HOTELS is a brand with hotels in London too, we’re able to amplify the city’s energy far and wide. For Women’s International day we created an event called “Fierce Females, Back to Back” where we had soul & funk band Moxxy, with Brighton-rapper Phonetic and musician Boudicca playing throughout the night in Merkaba, our cocktail bar.

I’m also super excited about our upcoming event “FACES”, which is part of The Car Park Project, where a team of artists including the prolific Brighton based street artist Cassette Lord will be creating an immersive installation in our underground places. Early bird tickets for the launch event, on Sunday 9th of June, are on sale now, and it is set to be our biggest event of the year with live art, cocktails, canapes and music.

Since joining the PLATF9RM community, what have you got the most out of here?

I love the focus on culture and community here. It's what we strive for with My Brighton’s Cultural Programme too - so it felt like home instantly. When I visited the PLATF9RM Ground Floor at Hove, I just loved seeing familiar faces and catching up with folks I know. Any community is based on acceptance and that’s something that really comes across with PLATF9RM. But truly being a part of the neighbourhood is much more than just a service and you feel that at PLATF9RM. You are a part of something, almost like a family and to a new girl in a new city that is amazing.

As someone who knows the ins and outs of events, are there any PLATF9RM Events that you've got in your calendar?

I try to come to as many as possible. In essence that’s my job, so I can’t help it! The one I never miss is the monthly members’ event. It’s always so much fun and I love catching up with everyone in an out of the work setting. I’ve just moved into town recently (opposite the Pavilion I might add!), so now that I’m closer to PLATF9RM I’m trying to be more dedicated to coming in and going to more of the social and cultural events. So, look out for me and please come say hi – I don’t bite!

Off the top of your head, how would you describe PLATF9RM in three words?

Innovative, authentic and colourful.

Do you have any favourite cocktail bar or brunch spots you would recommend?

I love sitting out on the terrace of the Pavilion café on a sunny day, it is so chilled and relaxed it is just dreamy. In contrast I also love heading down to the crazy colourful Marwoods for a coffee and delicious cake.

But if it’s cocktails, I must confess I love Merkaba - they rock! They make the most delicious matcha cocktail, it’s the best I’ve had in years, absolutely incredible! Even better, there are discounts if you’re a PLATF9RM member. And the mixologists are eager to share their wide knowledge about cocktails, so I love learning all about what I’m drinking.

You say that you love experiencing new cultures, been on any exciting or notable travels?

As an ambassador for The Purple Community Fund I recently visited the projects which work with children and families living on the dumpsites in the Philippines. Together with the community, they fund and run livelihood, education, health and nutrition programmes.

During my visit to Tondo, I was able to see first hand how the incredible school made from recycled shipping containers runs and also get to meet loads of the amazing beneficiaries. The families are so loving and humble it really made my heart sing to be a part of such a wonderful programme, creating a brighter future for them all. They also collect ringpulls in the UK and make incredible handbags and clothes which are a beautiful sustainable bargain and worth every penny. Being in Tondo really put things in perspective for me and shone a light on the healing power of community.

What else brings you joy outside of work?

Festivals, I absolutely love live music and dancing in fields. I am the queen of sparkles and glitter, maybe I shouldn’t admit that! But while we’re baring souls, I’ve a huge collection of rainbow jackets. All in all, if I could be a unicorn glitter fairy every day, I probably would!

Thank you Helen!

If you want to be a member at our space, get in touch for a tour and trial.



The INF9RMER Newsletter is matt-iculously crafted, lovingly nurtured, marinated in enthusiasm and cooked at 200℃ for 15 minutes, by PLATF9RM's Poet Wizard and Cafe Manager, Matt. If you have any exciting upcoming projects within your company, would like to let everyone know how your business is progressing in some way, or have a future event coming up - then feel free to email Matt, drop him a message on Slack or come find him in person for a quick chat.

A Charitable Cause, Muddy Paws and Food Worth an Applause

This month we have been stepping out the box with this month's theme, Outward Looking. It came as no surprise that Sophie and the team at Tuesday Media were recently shortlisted as New Agency of the Year at the PRmoment Awards 2019. Graphic Designer Myles Lucas, his partner Florence and their tail wagging pup Ziggy are running this years Muddy Dog Challenge, in aid of their furry friends at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. Support this cuddly cause here! Glamorous glitter gal Sofaya is at The Brighton Fringe for a 2nd year running! She will be around for all five weekends of Speigeltent goodness and is fully committed to using no single-use plastic. Is there a better excuse to get glittered up?

Content Club's Toby Moore is this month swinging our attention to his wife Elaine's charity, The Hummingbird Project where the team are celebrating receiving a Parliamentary Award! Whilst Riverford's Stephen Spears is here to spread veggie inspiration with his sous-chef through a relaxing two-hour course, showing us how to make the most out of a box packed full of fresh, tasty veg. So secure your space now!


Long-standing member Colm McKee (CMK Planning) has teamed up with Ground Floor freshman Raj Mudhar (Blue Lion Consultants) to start a relaxed monthly meet-up. Calling all disciplines from the Built Environment; Architects or Planners, Surveyors or Traders! Benji Lamb's Indie band, Pavilion will be at Brighton Electric this Saturday, celebrating the release of their debut single Between Days.

This Friday, Hove's Ground Floor will be celebrating the very best, purpose-driven adventure films the world has on offer, hosted by Unlost Co.'s Kim Slade and Adventure Uncovered. Grab your ticket! And just to add, give John Pritchard’s recent Indiegogo campaign video a watch. Highlighting his ambitions for PALA, and how crucial funding will be to achieving the brand’s fantastic vision.

Thank you to everyone who put in the time to offer news for this month's INF9RMER, if you have something you would like to include for May then contact Matt.

Member of the Week - Tristan Mills

As a man of many hidden talents, whether he is transforming his van into a DIY camper, or using his self-taught environmental artist skills to digitally improve their upcoming first-person shooter ‘Squad' - we caught up with Offworld Industries’ Tristan Mills to find out how he getting on at PLATF9RM Hove.

Where did your journey with Offworld Industries begin?

I was jobless and living at home, trying to build a new skill after dropping out of doing physics at university. Through a serendipitous contact, I was approached to work on the commercial successor to a popular modification of Battlefield 2. Having played this altered game in my teen years, and considering I was not looking for a job at this point - I was still working on my portfolio - this was an extremely exciting opportunity. I'd spent the last several years working jobs I hated, and suddenly I'd made it.

What element of the games are you tasked on developing and what part do you enjoy working on the most?

I work as an environment artist, which means I create the visuals for the areas of play, telling stories and crafting atmospheres in doing so. The part I enjoy the most is the fusion of artistic and technical challenges, and collaborating with my colleagues to solve them. Breaking down objects, even mundane ones, into what defines how they appear is another thing I love doing - because it makes me more aware of the beauty of the world around us.

What makes your upcoming game ‘Squad’ stand out above the rest?

Squad’ is a large scale combined arms multiplayer first-person shooter emphasizing combat realism through communication, team play, emphasizing strong squad cohesion mechanics as well as larger-scale coordination, tactics and planning. Think more realistic than other shooters, more fun than military simulators! The areas of play are very large, up to 4km², which is a constant technical challenge for us to create.


What drew you to PLATF9RM and how do you feel you have settled in over the past few months?

Initially, I was just looking for somewhere to work that wasn't my bedroom. The PLATF9RM space looked visually attractive, but what sold it to me was the team here. From day one they were helpful, friendly and accommodating. The working environment here is very pleasant, and there is nothing better than meeting all the dogs that people bring in! I'd say I've settled in well, everyone is so friendly, I just need to get some of my colleagues here too!

If we could run a PLATF9RM Social on your chosen theme, what would it be?

Our game ‘Squad’ of course! I'd want to see everyone in full military gear. Faction is the guest's choice.

Are you excited to use the brand new Ground Floor at Hove Town Hall?

Yup! I hear there will be showers, so I'd definitely feel more comfortable cycling into work.

What’s your favourite game from your childhood?

Fallout 3. I love the 1950's styling, the image of the idyllic "American Dream" destroyed by the nuclear war that overshadowed the period. Exploring the derelict buildings and piecing together the last trivial matters of the occupant before the bombs hit was of particular fondness to me - eventually sparking a general interest in urban exploration.

Any secret talents or skills you’re willing to share?

I'm currently converting my van in a camper, so I've picked up plenty of practical skills doing that. I wouldn't say my abilities amount to talent though!

What is the most ‘Hove actually’ thing you’ve ever seen?

I'm not sure if it can be said to be distinctly "Hove, actually", but one of my favourite anecdotes from the area comes courtesy of a man I'd briefly spoken to while I was working on my van. He excitedly reapproached me later in the day, clearly drunk, proclaiming "I just nicked this fish! And this whisky! Want to do some shots with me?" I had to point out to him that I was currently wielding a power tool.

Thank you Tristan!

If you want to be a member at our space, get in touch for a tour and trial.