Cost: The nightly fee is £15 per person
Bidston Observatory is communal space for multiple people to use. The resource is kept running (we hope!) by a nightly fee of £15 per person*. The fee solely goes towards sustaining this project, which is run by a not-for-profit organisation. This covers the maintenance costs of running the building (heating, water, light, etc.).
We are hoping to keep this rate for the foreseeable future; but as this project is untested, adjustments might be made if this is not enough to cover the building’s expenses. Please note this blanket fee is effectively highly subsidized. As the ethos of the space is not to make value judgements on the content and quality of projects, we unfortunately can’t subsidise particular users further, although we are happy to support bids for funding, etc.
* N.B.; The nightly fees and agreements are between BOARC and individual users, and not to be used as a base-line price to then charge other parties for workshops (for example). This would need to be discussed with the enquiry team. We ask that anyone able to raise additional funding considers paying a higher rate, as that money will contribute to access for those not able to gain similar resources.
The building is intended to be a resource for temporary use by groups and individuals who need time to work on projects. All workspaces and living spaces are shared, and can be negotiated with other stayers.
We’d like to ask stayers to be mindful about making decisions in usage and timings, and to be conscious of other people sharing the resource. Blocking off specific rooms is not generally encouraged, and - dependant on how others would like to use the space – might incur extra per day charges. We imagine that stayers can be open with how they approach the working environment, considerate of the needs of others, and can negotiate the use of the space with respect for all users.
Beyond those needed to run the administration, there are no paid staff, and it’s up to everyone to contribute, clean up, and give care to the space when it’s needed. This is important for making the site as affordable as possible, and - in keeping with the project’s values - recognising the equal importance of all forms of labour, including the domestic. We ask that you bear in mind the scale of the building and the effort it takes to keep it open and running for as many people as possible. Please care for it as you would your own home, leave it in the best possible state for the next user, and take away anything you might bring to work on when you leave. Your agency makes a difference in keeping the space as you’d like to find it.
The Observatory has beds for up to 22 people (or 26 if double beds are shared). These are mainly in shared rooms from 2 to 4 people per room. There is also a family room with a cot, a dormitory that sleeps 8 people, and a single bedroom available. We also have an accessible bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor.
Bedrooms are shared and non-gendered. However, we would like to communally take different awarenesses into account - so if you have other preferences, let’s work out arrangements together.
Sheets and towels are provided and there are two washing machines and a dryer on the ground floor so stayers can do their laundry on leaving.
The ground floor is fully accessible, but we currently do not have wheelchair access to the first floor, roof or basement. For anybody who has specific access requirements, please get in touch and we can send further text, audio and image-based information regarding access to and around the Observatory.
We welcome groups that include smaller members of your family and kin. Likewise, if you have other dependants, please ask how we can plan to accommodate for different access requirements.
The Observatory is self-catering, and users will need to provide their own food. There is a large, 24-hour supermarket within close walking distance or within a 5-minute car ride.
Often, mealtimes are group gatherings and - if many people would like to cook together - this can be accommodated as we have a large semi commercial kitchen. There is also a second back kitchen for use in those moments when less cooking-communality is required.
Bidston Observatory has one canine resident. She is very friendly and in general pretty well behaved. If you are uncomfortable with dogs, please let us know in advance of your arrival so we can make efforts to keep her out of the way during your stay.
If you are thinking of bringing your own, please let us know. Unless they fly in through the window, animals are not normally let into sleeping accommodation, just to be sensitive to others who may have allergies.
How to arrange your stay:
Bidston Observatory is conceived as a space for concentration, work and potential production, rather than purely a leisure site. The project’s objective is to be a resource that supports different ways of working (together) and makes new imaginings possible.
With this in mind, please send a brief mail to: enquiries [at] bidstonobservatory [dot] org, giving us an idea about your practice, or what you might be working on during your stay here. Just a few quick sentences will do!
Using the building