Hastings

Jericho Road aims to make a profit in order to invest in projects in our hometown of Hastings

Jericho Road has always aimed to invest profits in projects in our home town of Hastings. This began in 2014 with the purchase of Rock House. 

HASTINGS COMMONS NEIGHBOURHOOD VENTURES

Jericho Road invested the critical early ‘mezzanine’ finance to secure the purchase of Rock House, partnering with Meanwhile Space CIC to establish the  social enterprise property developer White Rock Neighbourhood Ventures (now Hastings Commons Neighbourhood Ventures). We remain one third co-owner of the company and have been intimately involved in all of its developments.

Rock House was a 9-storey 1969 office block which has been transformed from empty and dilapidated into a mixed-use, creative, collaborative, space for living, working and community action. The rents are capped to lock in affordability forever and the tenants are selected based on need, local connection, enthusiasm and contribution. They participate, socialise and collaborate together to shape their space.

Rock House provided a learning lab for the work that has been taken forward by Hastings Commons: renovation of difficult buildings, mixed uses, capped residential and commercial rents, selection and induction process of tenants, and community-building among tenants. It was clear from Rock House that there is need and demand for both residential and commercial space with fair, stable rents and support to build a strong community.

In early 2019 we mortgaged the successful Rock House to purchase the derelict wreck next door! We took possession of the Observer Building on Valentine’s Day and have spent the years since lovingly renovating the building into workspace, leisure and community facilities. The planning permission includes 12 Living Rents homes which we hope to create in the next couple of years. In partnership with the Community Land Trust, Neighbourhood Ventures has continued to acquire and develop further properties including Eagle House.

THE OBSERVER BUILDING

The Observer Building (OB) is the latest, most ambitious project in the hyper­local ecosystem of community businesses developing in the White Rock neighbourhood in Hastings. Our vision – rescue and renovate a vast disused building into a mixed use, capped rent community hub offering opportunities for diverse local people.

The Observer Building offers a new scale of impact for what was achieved through our flagship project, Rock House.

At 4,000 sq.m, the OB is a huge building with unique spaces. It has dragged down the immediate neighbourhood through almost 4 decades of dereliction but has the potential to catalyse significant positive change for local people on multiple levels.

As of April 2024 the OB Workspace on the first floor has quickly filled with tenants and hot-deskers, the ground floor Venue is hosting many events, a new creative technology hub is emerging on the mezzanine floor, and Crossfit 1066 gym is active at Alley level. This is just the beginning. Find out more here.

ROSE COTTAGE

Rose Cottage is a Victorian stable block down the Alley behind Claremont which Jericho Road bought freehold in July 2019. It has been fully renovated to create two artists studios and a classroom/workshop space which is hired out by the Hastings Commons charity Leisure & Learning. The building helps bring life and activity to the Alley and is run on the same principles as Rock House and the Observer Building – capped rents, community ownership and community self management by tenants.

DEVELOPING THE HASTINGS COMMONS

Jericho Road continues to work alongside multiple partners to develop the Hastings Commons – an ecosystem of buildings and spaces, organisations and people held together with shared values. Together we are creating a genuine urban commons in a way that inspires others throughout the country

We received a highly commended award from The William Sutton Prize for Placemaking and Affordable Housing Design in 2019 for this work. 

A MAP OF HASTINGS COMMONS BUILDINGS

HASTINGS COMMONS STRUCTURE & RELATIONSHIP WITH JERICHO ROAD