A NEW online booking service for community facilities, including
church and school halls, is to go live in London next month. The
operators of hirespace.com seek to put hirers in touch with
potential venues that have displayed their attractions on a page on
One of the founders of the site, Ed Poland, said: "It was set up
to help increase public access to community facilities,
particularly those with limited marketing budgets, and which tend
to be difficult to contact on the phone.
"People don't pick up the Yellow Pages or look in their
local newspaper to find somewhere to hire any more. They Google
what they are looking for, and remember what they saw their friends
use on Facebook or Twitter. They don't want then to spend the next
week to-ing and fro-ing with half-a-dozen venues - they want to
know a few details, compare prices, check availability, and make a
Hirers tell the website where and what they want, and the site
offers a series of matching locations. The hirer's details will
then be passed to the venue, and if the rental is approved, the
site completes the booking. Afterwards, both sides can leave
feedback so that future hirers and venues can check each other.
Hirespace will take a ten-per-cent commission from the hiring
fee, with discounts for good feedback.
So far, the site is limited to 450 venues inside the M25, but
there are plans to go nationwide, Mr Poland said. "It's well suited
to community spaces because it is free to join."