Dronfield Hall Barn pilots a rent-a-desk scheme for entrepreneurs and remote-working employees

The award-winning Heritage and Arts centre, Dronfield Hall Barn in north-east Derbyshire, has responded to the post-pandemic changes to working life by launching a new venue for remote workers.

The 600-year-old medieval barn is a stunning location for the flexible rent-a-desk venture which is available initially for a trial period on consecutive Mondays from 24th May to 28th June. Bookings for a half-day or full-day are made online and guests can enjoy the splendid surroundings of the lofty upper-floor gallery.

The idea came together through a consultation involving local businesses, and after watching the national trends which show fewer employees returning to their former offices. A National Lottery Heritage Fund grant has allowed the Dronfield Heritage Trust, custodians of the Barn, to work on a campaign to attract more commercial users. Rent-a-Desk is the first of a series of business-related projects to be launched by the charity this year.

The High Street heritage building is already home to a wide range of arts, cultural and community events as well as having an outdoor and indoor coffee shop and beautiful gardens. This rent-a-desk pilot will provide feedback from the first business users so the service is ready for a full launch later this summer.

Alan Powell, chair of the Dronfield Heritage Trust says: “We are expecting to see a demand from small business owners, freelancers and some employees who are tired of perching at the kitchen table or battling over internet access with the kids. They need an alternative desk to use their laptops and a pleasant place to enjoy time with colleagues and clients. This way we are helping the business community and making the most of our brilliant facilities.

Louise Third, director of PR company Integra Communications was the first to try out the facilities when indoor gathering was permitted on Monday 17th May. She says: “Packing my briefcase and laptop and heading off to the Barn was like experiencing the first day at school. A little strange at first, especially to be working somewhere other than my home office. But I received a very warm welcome, I could help myself to coffee all day, and hold meetings in the café area. I fully intend to make this a regular base when I need to be in Derbyshire.”

Anyone interested in the rent-a-desk facility, as well as venue hire and catering for business events, can click here to find more details and booking information.