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Businesses from Toffee Factory hold an inspirational evening at the Lit & Phil

July 13, 2012

Businesses based in the Toffee Factory, Newcastle’s newest creative hub visited the Literary & Philosophical Society (Lit & Phil) one of the city’s longest established centres of debate and thought in a special event last night (Thursday 12 July).

Toffee Factory businesses and their guests discovered the history of the Lit & Phil in guided tours, which included visiting parts of the library not usually open to the public or members. They were also able to view some of the Lit & Phil’s finest books, some of which date back to 1504, including beautiful examples of print, illustration and typography.

The event is part of an ongoing partnership between Newcastle’s newest creative business community, Toffee Factory and the Lit & Phil, one of the city’s oldest institutions. The Lit & Phil provided inspiration for Creative Space Management’s Managing Director Toby Hyam, when he first visited Newcastle. The Toffee Factory’s design even includes copies of traditional bookcases and moveable ladders in reference to the Library’s distinguished past.

Lisa Tolan, Centre Manager of Toffee Factory, for Creative Space Management said:

The Lit & Phil has long been home to progressive thinking and creative development within the North East, which makes it an ideal creative partner for Toffee Factory, Newcastle’s newest creative hub. This event really showcased the beautiful facilities at the Lit & Phil, that Toffee Factory businesses can benefit from including fantastic meeting rooms, access to the library’s music and book collections and to the wide range of events.”

Alma Devine from the Lit & Phil added:

“We are thrilled that Toffee Factory has become a corporate member of the Lit & Phil, we consider them to be a perfect partner. It’s been a pleasure to welcome them into the building to continue the tradition of conversation, as well as showcasing this resource and facilities.”

The Lit & Phil has become synonymous with progressive thinking and creative development within the North East and continues to run an impressive array of lectures, debates and events to challenge and stimulate.  As the newest innovation hub in the city, Toffee Factory shares many of the values which have made the Lit & Phil a renowned institution.

Sue Reay, Director of East River PR, based at Toffee Factory added:

“This has been a great introduction to the Lit & Phil, it’s an inspirational place to feel part of. This partnership provides us with a great opportunity to use an amazing resource. Another benefit is the Library’s close proximity to Newcastle Central Station to meet travelling clients, It’s great to show them such an important piece of Newcastle’s heritage as a first port of call to the city.”

Fiona Birkbeck, Creative Director of Multiminded based at Toffee Factory added:

“This is a great partnership. A lot of us at the Toffee Factory are New School businesses. My creative agency, Multiminded is totally immersed in the digital space. However, my background is as a writer. It’s great to be back at the Lit and Phil. Not only is it incredibly inspiring to be surrounded by all these wonderful books but it’s also quite poignant. We were looking at this amazing old book about the dodo.  Places like this are vital to ensure that books and
their amazing heritage don’t share the same fate.”  

Toffee Factory provides creative and digital studio space for growing businesses. Its contemporary office spaces, which opened in December 2011 in the refurbished Maynards Toffee Factory located at the mouth of the Ouseburn Valley, is now home to twenty creative businesses. The refurbishment of the old Victorian factory was led by xsite architecture, an Ouseburn based practice. It has produced a blend of bold design and exposed brickwork and has already scooped a number of architectural and design awards, including Project of the Year, Regeneration and highly commended in Design and Innovation and Commercial categories in the North East RICs awards and three RIBA awards putting it on the longlist for the prestigious Stirling Prize for Architecture.

The Toffee Factory partnership with the Lit & Phil allows businesses from the Toffee Factory to use the Lit & Phil facilities. This includes access to the collection and meeting rooms. A Development Appeal is currently underway at the Lit & Phil, as £1million is needed for urgent work to the building and to ensure the future of the Society. The Lit & Phil offers a Corporate Membership as well as individual memberships. Please see the website for details www.litandphil.org.uk

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