Underused areas: here’s how to get revenue from them

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Whether you’ve got land or a building on your hands, an underused area could be making you healthy revenue by realising its potential as a site for weddings and other events.

It doesn’t matter if the site has never been used a wedding venue before. You can still compete with more established properties, especially if you have features of interest such as a historic building, a pretty outdoor area or a disused barn. All these kinds of spots can make highly desirable wedding venues.

You may well find yourself pleasantly surprised by just how much extra income you can create in the longterm, but, of course, it’s vital that you think through everything first; there will be a few things you’ll need to do before you can use your space as an events venue.

Underused areas – 3 things to consider:

1. Take a long, hard objective look at your potential venue, and try to see it from the point of view of someone who would be holding an event there. What is the basic condition like, and the décor? What improvements need to be made? How much will they cost?

2. How will you supply power to underused areas (electricity as well as heating) and water if these are not already available?

3. In England and Wales, you will need to apply to your local authority for a “grant of approval” to hold ceremonies (including marriages and civil partnerships). This will be valid for at least three years, and you will need to specify where exactly ceremonies will take place – i.e. the exact room or rooms. The council will also have certain fire and safety rules that your venue will have to meet.

Even if you already have quite an established venue, you can still make sure your property works as hard as possible for you, all year round.

Consider investing in underused areas that aren’t currently offered as part of your wedding and events spaces. There is huge potential for unused cottages that can be converted into residential holiday homes and rented by wedding guests. Likewise, a barn could be completely renovated to house a spa or it could be the home to additional guest bedrooms.

Don’t forget to fully utilise your outdoor space too: a garden in a lovely part of the country with a small stone gazebo can be restored to create someone’s dream wedding venue. Even quite small offices in outer buildings can be turned from underused areas into meeting rooms and hired out as business conference spaces on days when weddings aren’t taking place at your property.

Getting revenue from underused areas is all about thinking creatively to help you make the most of your property and land. That said, strategic thinking is very much involved in making renovation works a complete success. Beware of pitfalls associated with converting spaces into a commercial venue; inexperience can make a seemingly straightforward project evolve into a costly minefield.

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