A working and social space dedicated to alleviating pressure on Coventry teachers, tutors and students has opened in the city centre. The Reform Club, a partly vacant three-storey building on Warwick Row, has been transformed by start-up business Beyond The Box Resources.
Four small suites will be made available for quiet working on the ground floor, while the top two floors - totalling 160 square metres - will provide two open plan suites for hire complete with desks and soft furnishings, a café, stationery shop, and conference facilities. The facilities will be made available between 7am-9am and 3.30pm-10.30pm on weekdays, 9-3.30pm on Saturdays and 3.30pm-10.30pm on Sundays.
The business was founded by former teacher Graham Senior, who was supported by Coventry law firm Band Hatton Button and commercial property company D&P Holt in helping to get his idea off the ground. Graham, who has more than 25 years of teaching experience, said:
"Increasing amounts of pressure are being placed on teachers to prioritise targets over creativity, and rather than turning my back on my fellow colleagues, I decided to do something about it and help them.
"This space provides home comforts in a professional environment and is about supporting anybody who is serious about teaching and learning. There will be open plan spaces complete with soft furnishings where teachers, tutors and trainers can collaborate, while also providing some quiet time before or after school where they can plan lessons, mark or revise.
"The space brings together the services of a small café, a stationery shop, and a library under one roof so that people don't have to rush around from place to place - a lot of teachers nowadays are young folk and still live with parents and don't have the room to do their work, so hopefully this space will help for that too.
"The Reform Club is within a 15 minute drive of 14 of the city's secondary schools and is on the main pedestrian route to and from the train station, so we're ideally located for people to drop in."
Dina Parmar, partner in the commercial property department at Band Hatton Button, worked with D&P Holt to help Graham to negotiate a five year lease on the city centre location. She added:
"Graham's business idea really does score top marks, and we have managed to secure a lease deal in his favour as the firm finds its feet in the early stages of trading.
"It's really encouraging to see new businesses opening in the city centre and taking advantage of existing buildings, and hopefully this will inspire others to follow suit."
Luke Hedderwick, from D&P Holt, continued:
"The Reform Club is the perfect location for Graham's business and coupled with the various schools in the area, we're confident it will be a success."
For more information about accessing Beyond The Box Resources' facilities visit www.beyondtheboxresources.co.uk
Photo caption: Back row from left, Dina Parmar (Band Hatton Button), Elzbieta Pietrzak-Jamroz (Beyond The Box), Graham Senior (Beyond The Box), Sherrie Edgar (Beyond The Box), Luke Hedderwick (D&P Holt). Front row, Hannah Senior (Beyond The Box).