Entrepreneurs, musicians and artists based in Sheffield’s Cultural Industries Quarter have warned planned building demolitions would be ‘another nail in the coffin’ for creative people in the city.
More than 1,800 people have already signed an online petition against the plans, which would involve a series of warehouses and industrial buildings knocked down around Matilda Street, Sidney Street, Arundel Street and Sylvester Street.
Over 100 official objections have also been submitted to Sheffield Council against the proposals from Elmsdale Estates, who want to build new student accommodation and private housing in the area.
Planning permission was initially granted in October 2011 but needs to be renewed as work has not started within the legal limit of three years. In a letter to the council, musician Eoin Loveless said: “The same development projects in Shalesmoor and Kelham Island are themselves having a detrimental effect on the creative output of our city’s artists and musicians. Don’t let this be another nail in the coffin for Sheffield’s creatives.”
Jenny Sutton, who runs a community pop-up cinema and rents office and storage space in the area, added: “I feel this area represents the future. People are making, inventing, starting up and experimenting in this part of town. You will stifle the next surge of people who will move this city on and break up a creative community.”
Self-employed artist Chris Butler, who has had a studio in the area for the past five years, said: “Cities need areas like this, and over time they blossom into something that can potentially contribute considerably to the economy of a city.
“I believe we should think more long term about culture in Sheffield and trust more in the ingenuity of its citizens. I do hope this demolition will be denied and the council might begin to work alongside artists and creatives on how this area can be supported, maintained and encouraged long term in Sheffield.”