Hire FAQ

The Old Library provides hire for many private events, parties and activities during hours that we are not open to the public. Some of your questions about our hire space may be answered below!

What activities do you hire for?

The Old Library can be hired for regular or one off activities. We have many private weekly activities that take place in the space during the daytimes, evenings and weekends, so if you’d like to run a regular activity at our space, please get in touch.

We also hire the Old Library for birthday parties, Wedding Anniversaries, Eid Celebrations, talks and discussions, meetings and many family gatherings, and would be more than happy for you to talk to us about holding your event here.

Other activities that have taken place in the Old Library include photoshoots, quiz events, film screenings, craft & woodwork events, forums and we are a polling station for elections.

Between which times can the Old Library be hired?

The Old Library is available to hire 7 days a week. Basil’s Community Cafe is publicly open on Monday, Fridays and Saturdays between 9.30am – 3pm, so private hire cannot generally take place during these hours. Basil’s Community Cafe is closed during bank holiday weekends (Friday, Saturday and Monday), so private hires can book during bank holiday weekends. We have a range of private hires already in the diary in evenings and on Tuesdays and Thursdays daytimes, though we do have many slots available too. We also have many hours at the weekend that can be hired on an ad-hoc basis.

Please take a look at the activities and events page to see when the space is hired already. Please note although we try to keep the activities calendar as up to date as possible, a free slot on the website does not always mean a free slot in the OL calendar… please get in touch to check dates!

The Old Library can be hired from 9am until 10:00pm on a weekday and 9am until 10:30pm at the weekend.

How many people does the Old Library hold?

Events and activities are able to run with 60-80 people maximum.

What facilities does the space have available?

The Old Library has a large open space for hire, and hirers are able to utilise the whole of the main room, alongside the kitchen if needs be. We have our cafe counter in the main room which can be used for buffets, serving from the front. We ask hirers not to go behind the cafe counter during hire times.

Our kitchen is newly refurbished and includes an oven with hob, dishwasher, microwave and kettle. Our cafe urn and cafe counter (serving from behind) may be used upon special request – please discuss this with our hire administrator upon booking. We have some mugs and glasses which you may use in the kitchen – for a party or large event you will need to source additional items.

We ask for you not to use any of the items from behind the cafe counter as this is a separate entity to the hire space!

The Old Library currently has one unisex toilet, though we are fundraising for an extension for an accessible toilet and improved baby changing facilities.

Many events may also require use of the garden space, which we are more than happy to make available to you, of course depending upon the time and nature of hire.

Do you have a projector?

We have just installed a projection screen, and have a projector you may hire for a small fee.

Are chairs and tables available?

Yes – hirers have access to the cafe tables and chairs, plus we have 2 trestle tables and a dining room style table for use. We also have approximately 16 stackable chairs extra which may be used by hirers.

Can we serve or sell alcohol within the Old Library?

We are unable to provide you our temporary events notices as we only get 10 of these a year, which must be used for fundraising for the space. These are legal requirements if alcohol is being sold in any form, or being provided in return for purchase of a ticket. However there may be some scope for serving alcohol for certain limited activities. When filing in hire forms, hirers agree that they will not sell alcohol on the premises, and we ask that you please strictly adhere to this policy.

Please discuss alcohol needs with us in advance if you have any questions.

Can we play amplified music, or have live music at the Old Library?

You may play amplified music inside the premises, though this must not be loud enough to be heard from outside. We have a PRS licence to cover this. Live music requires a licence from the council for the building – please contact us to discuss this if you would like to have performances or live music on site. Hirers agree they will not have any live performance without agreement from the Old Library team, as this could get us in serious trouble!

Do you provide any catering?

No, the Old Library does not provide catering for events – we are all volunteers and unfortunately we cannot offer this as a service at this time!

Can I get in for setting up, before my booking?

We recommend hirers accommodate at least half an hour either side of their event for setting up and setting down. This needs to be included within your booking times. Some events may require longer, please remember to include time for tidying and clearing away at the end!

Do I need to tidy up and clean up at the end?

Yes please! Please clean up all crockery and put the room back as best you can to how you found it. Please give the room a vacuum and ensure rubbish is cleared away and taken home with you. We currently have our volunteers taking rubbish home, so please don’t get us in a pickle! We may have a bin service in the near future.

How do I get in and lock up?

One of our lovely volunteers will come and open up for you at the time of your booking. They will run through any contact details and information you may need, open up the fire escape and show you the ropes with anything you may need. One of our volunteers will also arrive at the end of your booking to lock up for you. Please try to ensure your activity doesn’t overrun as our team are taking time out of their day for this!