Disused Sheffield building to be used as performance venue

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A disused building once used by squatters and drug users is being brought back into use a new arts venue and community meeting place in Sheffield.

Rutland Hall in Neepsend is being renovated by In2Change, which works with disadvantaged young people.

The charity plans to use the building as a place where local people can get together and where arts projects can come to life.

Two Sheffield University students, Sam Dickinson and Sam Ward, are working with In2Change to help bring the plans to life.

They are trying to turn one of the main rooms into an arts venue, to be called The Railway Playhouse.

The students are looking to raise £5,000 with the aim of opening in March.

It will host shows by local artists, put on drama performances and be used for music events. It is hoped that regular drama workshops for young offenders looking for a fresh start in life will also be held there.

Sam Dickinson said: “We aim to open in March 2016, with an original play written by a local student. Later in the year we will be starting weekly drama workshops with the children from the charity, giving them an opportunity to get creative and put on some productions.”

Sam Ward added: “We need funds to get started with this exciting project, to get in a basic lighting rig, to make some cosmetic repairs in the building, to market the venue and build an outreach to artists and to audiences.”

Rutland Hall was built in 1906 as a community hub for young people in the area.

The building was funded by Dr Helen Wilson, the first female doctor and magistrate in Sheffield.

Between 1969 and 2010 it was used as a printers.