OPINION: Sheffield's new cultural projects are exciting ideas that we need to see taking shape soon

“Now is the time to be ambitious, brave, inclusive and decisive, and work together collaboratively to achieve more for more people and for the city’s sustainable development.”

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 3:23 pm

That quote comes from a strategy document by Sheffield Culture Collective, a new public-private partnership set up to push investment in culture and creativity to help revitalise the city’s economy.

It’s exciting news with four big projects announced – a new Park Hill Art Space creative hub set in a sculpture park, a public art trail in Tinsley, Harmony Works music education centre and a new focus on the future of the Central Library and Graves Art Gallery.

There’s no doubt that the Collective’s leader Dame Julie Kenny knows how to deliver on big projects, as shown by her work spearheading the restoration of stately home Wentworth Woodhouse.

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A visualisation of an illuminated ‘cracked’ chimney artwork on the Tinsley riverside art trail that would be visible from the M1
A visualisation of an illuminated ‘cracked’ chimney artwork on the Tinsley riverside art trail that would be visible from the M1

What we need now is some meat on the bones – more idea on what the projects will actually look like, why those four were chosen and, most importantly, how and when they will be delivered.

The Tinsley project is not new - it’s already three years overdue and last year the council announced a start date of next March.

As the Collective’s strategy document states, a lot of creative industry workers are freelances, and most have faced tough times over the pandemic. If this project can give them and the rest of the city some hope, we need to see it starting to take shape soon.

An impression of what the sculpture park at Park Hill could look like