Hebden Bridge Hostel Open Day

July 2022

Open Day

In early July 2022, we welcomed people to the IOU Hebden Bridge Hostel Open Day. Over 150 people joined us to experience for themselves the newly renovated hostel. Nestled in the heart of Hebden Bridge the IOU Hostel provides not only a place to stay for walkers, cyclists and Pennine Way sojourners, but a hub of creativity in the heart of Calderdale.

Local neighbours, Calderdale residents, regional businesses, artists, creatives and musicians came to see what we were doing at the hostel. It was a rare chance to connect and discuss ways to collaborate and work together, and utilise this wonderful space to benefit people from every sector of Calderdale.

Tours of the space took place from noon until 9pm with Artists in Residence Charlotte Mellor Meecham and Bodie Cameron DJing into the evening. Projected live visuals were provided by Argentinian born, Madrid based, Malena Merlina, who was visiting the co-working digital animation space next door, creating a beautiful backdrop to the Open Day.



Jill Penny, IOU’s Hostel manager, reflects on our most frequently asked questions through the day.

Why does an organisation like IOU want to run a hostel? 

“We want to provide an inclusive, comfortable, and curated space that is affordable and open to all. The Hostel is a long overdue arts and visitor hub that, along with IOU Studio and Gallery in Halifax, supports and welcomes artists and visitors to relax, see the region and take part in the cultural programmes that IOU and Calderdale has to offer . The sun shone all day long and the feedback was nothing but positive.”

Who do you partner with?

‘We value partnerships with other organisations, arts professionals, community engagement and education practitioners. Every single person who walks through our doors becomes part of the hostel story. In the near future, we are working with a range of organisations to run creative art retreats and workshops including  Healthy Holidays, Halifax Opportunity Trust, University of Leeds, The Spine Race and so much more. I feel very proud to be the manager and all the indications are that we will go from strength to strength.’

Thank you to everyone who joined us!

As day gave way to evening, the music flowed along with a well stocked bar! Local band ‘The Lounge Society’ dropped by with all their friends, and it was amazing to see so many people from many different generations enjoying the space, which we have put our hearts and souls into bringing to life

Four young men stand in front of an orange wall. There is a sign above them which has the words 'Hebden Bridge Hostel' written on a sign. They all have sunglasses on, apart from the one on the far right who isn't wearing sunglasses, he is holding a glass of white wine in his hand.