Hooky Co-Working Hub

A man wearing a costume

Hugh Pidgeon writes: There is an exciting new project getting under way down the road in Hook Norton.

One of the outcomes of the Covid pandemic has been a rapidly accelerating re-think on the whole pattern of how we all shop and where we work.

And in particular in this year’s trackless waste of restricted travel, many people up and down the country having tasted the opportunity of working from home are not content to ‘get back to normal’ and are quietly creating a new normal.

For some this will be giving up on the daily commute. For others, it’s the opportunity they always dreamed of, of setting up on their own, but that can be daunting if you actually are on your own.

Our neighbouring village of Hook Norton has had a thriving Low Carbon group for some time https://www.hn-lc.org.uk/ providing loans, experience and encouragement to its members to transform their energy footprint locally. They have seen the opportunity this represents and are taking over the Norman Mathews Hall and looking to create a thriving co-working hub right in the middle of the village – and just a mile down the road from the Sibfords!

They have taken inspiration and practical support from the Future Leap Low Carbon hub in Bristol, part of the Future Economy Network, which already has a whole network of satellite village scale hubs opening up.

The Norman Mathews Hall

A person standing in a roomIt will offer, on a modest subscription basis,  co-working desk space, secure WiFi and high speed broadband, access to a printer, scanner and photocopier, and catering facilities.

They will be welcoming interest from surrounding villages as well as Hook Norton itself. You could be in there right at the beginning!

Keith Musson is a fellow board member of Hook Norton Low Carbon, and has just put out the following circular. If anyone in the villages can readily put their hands on any of these items and would be pleased to donate them, I know Keith would love to hear from you: Keith Musson, 07905 031 852

Hooky Co-Working Hub?

It’s a working name for the HNLC Co-Working space.

We have a window of time where the space can be furnished and dressed and we need your help to do it.

The style we hope for

We want the space to feel light and airy. The furniture should be solid and robust. The desks and chairs for the co-working area will be unapologetically simple and modern

Below is a list of things we either need or need assistance with. If people are willing to offer assistance or even take ownership of items that would help us out immensely.

Items for Donation/Purchase

We need to furnish the place as cheaply and eco-friendly as possible. This means 2nd hand or refurbished. We have put in an application for 8 desks for the co-working space from the donation charity CollectEco, but we need:

  • Office chairs.  They  will need to be business quality, and we may need to look at purchasing refurbished items from a specialist – but if anyone has a better suggestion let us know!
  • One large table (6ft ish) for the front of the main  hall. Chairs for this table could be the ones currently in the hall but they will need covering/re-upholstering; anyone have the skills? Or a set of chairs they were thinking to let go?
  • Indoor pot plants, various sizes. We need around 10 – 20
  • White Shelving
  • Lots of Picture Frames and Hooks. We’d probably paint the frames in the colours below
  • For the kitchen area we need:  a small L shape sofa!
  • Another large table (6ft ish).  Chairs for this table could be the ones currently in the hall but they will need covering/re-upholstering. if anyone has the skills to take that on? Or an alternative set of chairs they were looking to pass on?
  • For the Hub’s outside courtyard, we will be needing Outside plants, planters and pots
  • 2 Benches, ideally pub style ones
  • A shed if possible.

Right now we are a bit baffled how to create a sound-proof ‘sensitive call’ area. Purpose built pods exist on the market but are super-expensive. Any ideas or suggestions welcome! 

The colours we’ll be working with, if that helps when picking items for the main hall: