The Hubnub Centre is reborn as Rise

Throughout 2019 we are taking a peek at the behind the scenes lives of some of Frome’s best loved independent shops and businesses.

Recently we caught up with Ed and Io, founders of Rise, which is the new name for the HubNub centre. Many of you will know the building as the home of Rye Bakery, and the Whittox Gallery, but it’s a community space and hireable venue too. Ed and Io told us all about their shiny new rebrand, their vision for the space and what they like to do on their days off!

Tell us a bit about your backgrounds, what was the vision for transforming the United Reformed Church into the community hub it is today?

Our backgrounds are in teaching and nursing, and although we hadn’t started a business before we wanted to add something to the town we love while nurturing this wonderful building back to life. We knew that it could find its place within the community again and we hoped that in providing spaces that were accessible and approachable for all we could give something back to the town that has been so good to us and our family. Frome has been our home for about fifteen years, and we feel lucky to be able to raise our five children in such a warm and creative town.

Why Frome?

The transformation of the building was a leap of faith, but we knew our efforts would be encouraged by the wonderful Frome community. We have tapped into the vibrant and enterprising nature of our town, and the way that the town has embraced the opportunities that the building offers has seen our business grow and develop in the most wonderful ways. Frome really is full to the brim with inspiring people.

Rise is many things to different people – the home of Rye Bakery and Whittox Gallery, as well as a hireable space for community groups and activities. Has it been challenging to create a space with so many uses?

Our initial vision was to open a café with a play space that was accessible to young families and we soon realised the potential of the rest of the building. We needed to keep the project manageable and we wanted to work with individual organisation who we felt had a voice within the community that needed space to develop. We work with the Rye Bakery and the OpenStoryTellers, a business and a charity who are making a real impact on the wellbeing of our town. We have found that a space with so many uses has complexities, but that each space benefits the next helping to bring us all together.

 We are excited to see the new rebrand for the space. Can you talk us through the idea behind the new name, and what it signifies?

We felt that the building and the business deserved a named that acknowledged the past and present uses of the building, the religious history but also the renovations and new life. RISE signifies everything that we hope for the future of the building, that it can remain in good structural shape and can be the home to community it has always served. It also denotes the new starts, positivity and determination of everyone who uses it. We hope for RISE to be the place to bring us together and raise us up.

 What’s next for Rise, any exciting plans in the pipeline for the rest of 2019?

RISE has been open for two years and we are now able to be responsive to how the business has developed and how the community uses the space. We are looking forward the launch of our new website and putting up external signage, both of which will make finding us and using us much easier to do. We are planning on creating a main reception area for RISE  to make accessing our facilities clearer, and are excited about expanding what services and events we can offer.

Finally – tell us about your dream day off. If you’re in the local area but not at work, where would you be?

Frome is at its loveliest in the sunshine, so on a day like this and after a long luxurious lie-in (unlikely!) we would take a walk to the beautiful Vallis Woods to see the trees, have a paddle in the river and eat a picnic of goodies from our favourite Frome shops. We would watch a film at our brilliant cinema and end the day with a cheeky drink or two in the wonderful Three Swans.