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£50,000 boost for Canning Circus Creative Hub

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Nottingham City Council has successfully secured a £50,000 grant towards improvements to the Canning Circus Creative Hub

The £50,000 grant from the Scape Community Investment Fund will be used to make internal improvements to the grade II listed buildings on Wollaton Street and Derby Road, which house around 30 small and medium sized creative businesses.

The City Council have worked together with the Creative Quarter Company to support the Canning Circus Creative Hub businesses, following the agreement earlier this year to keep the Hub in Wollaton Street. This work has also been supported by Nottingham Regeneration Limited who have liaised with the Canning Circus Creative Hub on behalf of the City Council.

To ensure the long term future of these businesses, the City Council also agreed to look at whether additional support could be secured to make the buildings more sustainable.

The funding from Scape will help towards upgrades needed to the facilities at the Wollaton Street premises. Internal and external repairs will be made alongside improvements to the heating system to make the Hub more comfortable to use all year round.

The £50,000 will contribute to improved facilities to help maintain and support the work with young people and the community undertaken by the musicians, artists and creative enterprises based there.

Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Jobs and Growth, Councillor Nick McDonald, said: “We have established a Creative Quarter in Nottingham because we believe that creative industries have an important role to play in the future of the city’s economy and we want to support them. That belief and support actually extends right across the city, as the work with the Canning Hub shows.

“I am delighted that this funding has been secured from Scape to help improve the Canning Circus Creative Hub’s facilities. Whilst these funds alone will not make all the improvements needed to the building, they are a major step towards securing the long term viability of this site to help the creative businesses based there to be even more successful in the future.”

Mark Robinson, Chief Executive of Scape, said: “Scape is a growing East Midlands based company and we are always looking for ways to support the development of the local economy. We’re really pleased to have the opportunity to fund vibrant, creative businesses in Nottingham and enable the regeneration of a valuable area of the city.”

Kathy McArdle, Chief Operating Officer of the Creative Quarter Company, said: “The mission of the Creative Quarter Company is to create a supportive environment in Nottingham in which to start up, grow and sustain a business, both in the geographical area covered by the Creative Quarter in Hockley and the Lace Market and through working with other enterprise and innovation hubs in the city such as the Canning Circus Creative Hub.

“As well as encouraging new enterprises to locate in Nottingham, we are working to sustain existing businesses – so it’s fantastic news about this financial support for Canning Circus. The creative industries need comfortable workspace so that people can produce their best creative work. These new facilities will also mean that Canning Circus can increase the great work the businesses are doing to support young people to develop new skills, access the creative industries and move into employment. It will also enable the businesses to continue to support the regeneration of the Derby Road area and their immediate neighbourhood.”

Mike Wynne, Coordinator of the Creative Hub, said: “The Hub is delighted that the bid has been successful. We would like to thank the Scape Community Investment Fund for their support and also Graham Gardiner of First Tuesday for his support during the bid process. The grant will contribute to the much-needed improvements to our buildings. We would like to thank Nottingham City Council, the Creative Quarter Company, Nottingham Regeneration Limited, and Councillor McDonald who have been very supportive since the decision to allow us to stay and recognise the economic and social contribution our businesses make to Nottingham.

“We look forward to further constructive discussions with the Council about the future of the buildings and to continued investment in their development. In the meantime the Hub businesses will continue to focus on producing the high quality music, fashion, visual art and digital design that have built Nottingham’s reputation as a vibrant Creative city.

“Our greatest thanks goes to the people of Nottingham and beyond for the support they have given to our campaign, drawing the Council’s attention to the possible consequences of our businesses being evicted. This is another positive step towards the long term viability of our Creative Hub, the businesses that work here and the ongoing regeneration of the Derby Road and Canning Circus area.”

Rikki Marr, an artist previously based at the Hub, added: “After returning from studying and working in London it was the Canning Circus creative community that gave me my first professional work space in Nottingham. Low rent and being surrounded by other creative types from all different kinds of industries was the perfect place for me to get a leg up into the industry. I learned a lot from those more experienced and managed to start getting some regular clients through the networks of connections that came with living and working in that area. You have a unique mix of recording studios, artists, interesting retail on Derby Road, students, professionals, grass roots culture, high brow culture, urban culture, all coming together in a concentrated melting pot.

“It was really a spring board into what came next, we eventually moved into a retail unit ourselves and created ‘Shop’ – the award winning creative business umbrella that itself spawned 5 or 6 very successful new creative businesses which are still around today, 10 years later on.”

You can download the press release here:  CCCH_ScapeRelease

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