Members Letter

Seb Royle's Letter to Members II

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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.

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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.

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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…).

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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,

Seb

Seb Royle's Letter to Members

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Hey everyone,

Welcome to my first PLATF9RM members letter.


One of my favourite things about PLATF9RM is the interest our members take in the business and I’m often asked about what I’m up to. Sadly, I don’t always have the time to answer as fully as I’d like, so the idea is I’ll address something happening in PLATF9RM, give a peek into the nuts and bolts of the business, and introduce some of our collaborators. We’d welcome any feedback you have, as we’d like this to be the first members letter of many!


For this first post we’re looking at Hove Town Hall: specifically the Ground Floor, which we started work on just over a month ago. For everyone in the PLATF9RM team this was a moment of deep excitement…and relief! I first saw the Ground Floor way back in April 2016, so it’s been a long journey for me. Back then it was an office for the Citizens Advice Bureau. It looked so different: a real old school office, with a suspended ceiling masking this huge, beautiful concrete shell. It reminded me of London’s Southbank, but in Hove. I loved it immediately.


The Ground Floor is going to herald a new chapter for PLATF9RM. It will combine coworking space for 200 people, meeting rooms, a lecture and event space for 120 people, with cafe, bar and supper club areas. Everything will, of course, be delivered in the PLATF9RM style that people expect. It’s going to complement our current space in the old Theatre in Hove Town Hall, and we’ll be able to use the outdoor area near the Juggler statue. It’s going to look dramatic and the fact it’s on the Ground Floor is important: it will connect us with the high street and Hove community in a way we haven’t been before.


Personally, I’m really excited about the chance to further regenerate Hove and Hove Town Hall. The high street can sometimes feel a little unloved and, though architecture fans will talk about the building as a Brutalist masterpiece, for many it’s perhaps a bit grey! We’re hoping that PLATF9RM – and its colourful members – will help change that perception.

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Photographs by Emma Croman

Photographs by Emma Croman

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We worked with Rich Brett of Hove based agency WeLikeToday for the design of the space. Rich has been involved with PLATF9RM since before we opened our first location in Brighton. He helped us conceive the brand and the unique design-led space people associate with PLATF9RM . We're also very happy to welcome honorary Brighton and Hove contractors S&G (they’re from Peterborough but we think of them as Brightonians!). They have built the majority of our spaces to date and Sean and his team are doing a great job.


There’s a long way to go with this build yet: we’re scheduled to open spring 2019 and no doubt there’ll be plenty of bumps between now and then. Personally, I feel like this project is taking me out of my comfort zone more than anything else I’ve done. But that’s what makes it so exciting! I am very lucky to have an amazing team at PLATF9RM who not only do a great job in their own right, but keep me focused and protect me when I need it. They are wonderful and I couldn’t do anything without them.


Thanks for reading,

Seb