The Diary: Class acts Jarvis and Hawley help open school-turned-studio

Jarvis Cocker and Richard Hawley
Jarvis Cocker and Richard Hawley
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There was Jarvis on the decks, Hawley on the dance floor and a waiter serving up fishfinger butties with Henderson’s.

If you looked out the window, you could see the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, St Paul’s Tower and the cheese grater car park.

This was the very Sheffield scene for the (re)opening of a very Sheffield building: Sum Studios in Heeley.

The arts, business and digital complex has been created, as previously reported in The Diary, in the old Anns Grove School, originally built in 1890. And to launch the centre, organisers invited past pupils, Heeley folk, prospective tenants and, of course, the Pulp front man for a knees-up.

“This was about opening the doors and showing how we’ve transformed the place,” says Matthew Conduit, development consultant with the Heeley Development Trust, which is behind the project. “A couple of people involved have known Jarvis for years and he was very much on board with what we’re trying to do.”

Now the development project continues apace.

The school was made up of three separate buildings. And while one has now been converted – by local architect firm Studio Gedye – the group will start on the other two from September.

They hope to have the whole site opened by the end of 2014.