The Diary: Inspiration? Here’s a shed load of ideas

The Thinking Shed at Digital Media Centre Barnsley'.
The Thinking Shed at Digital Media Centre Barnsley'.
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THE shed: a humble environment which has inspired some of history’s most creative moments.

Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf and Roald Dahl all wrote in theirs. Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters penned much of The Dark Side Of The Moon in his. And sculptor Dame Barbara Hepworth loved hers so much she famously had a bed installed.

Now a Barnsley business complex is hoping to re-create that unique magic made when four wooden walls are stuck where grass usually grows - it has installed its very own shed in the middle of its super modern foyer.

The structure will host a series of unusual events including dance sessions, philosophy discussions, business networking and, appropriately perhaps, a gardening question time. But members of the public are also encouraged to go along, get themselves holed up for an hour or two and be inspired.

Why? “Because,” says Jane Whitham, “when people spend time in sheds great things happen.

“This is about giving local people an unusual space to come and think outside the box,” notes the spokeswoman for Barnsley Digital Media Centre, in County Way, which is home to the unusual installation. “But it’s also a focal point for possible business and creative collaborations. People come to have a look, get talking, and that leads to great cross-overs.

The DMC itself is home to 44 businesses - including web companies, digital media and PR - and this shed gives all of them an informal place to meet each other and find out how working together can be mutually beneficial for themselves. And that’s beneficial for Barnsley as a whole.” The 2.4 metre square structure will be open through this month and into May. It comes complete with its own patch of (plastic) grass, pot planting, and even free WiFi in case your own brand of inspiration needs internet access. It doesn’t however, come with a roof, seeing as it’s already inside.

“It’s open to anyone to come along any time,” says Gareth Scargill, manager of the centre, which has been open five years. “What you do in there is up to you, really. But we hope it will help facilitate relationships between businesses.”

The shed stays until May 2 and a detailed list of events taking place can be found at www.barnsleydmc.co.uk.

Just one thing, though: doesn’t matter how much it inspires you, no-one is allowed to do a Barbara and sleep there.