A £6m transformation of a former Victorian hosiery factory in Sneinton is complete, with Dance4 and Confetti announced as the two major anchor tenants of the new facility which will support Nottingham’s growing digital and creative industry.
The brand new venue in the Creative Quarter named ‘Space2’ provides high quality workshops, offices and studio units alongside meeting rooms and networking spaces, with ten workspaces still available to let for small or start-up creative and digital businesses. Any businesses interested in taking up a unit in Space2 can contact the council’s Property Plus Team.
Nottingham has a growing reputation as a home for creative and digital companies, with over 650 new jobs created across the flagship Creative Quarter project since it started. Dance4 and Confetti, both big names in Nottingham’s creative sector, will be the first tenants to move into Space2 once they complete the fit-out of their facilities later in the year.
The £6m Dakeyne Street project was funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Nottingham City Council, undertaken by Wates Construction Ltd and delivered via the East Midlands Property Alliance (empa), which aims to improve the procurement and delivery of construction projects and property maintenance for public sector bodies. The refurbishment is already attracting acclaim, with the project shortlisted for a Heritage Award and Project of the Year award the forthcoming East Midlands Celebrating Construction Awards 2016.
Councillor Jon Collins, Leader of Nottingham City Council and Portfolio Holder for Strategic Regeneration, said: “Digital and creative industries are very important to the city’s continued growth and development. I’m really pleased that as well as providing valuable space to support our creative industries, we have been able to bring back to life a building which has a lot of history and character.
“Space2 is a fitting transformation of a Victorian factory into a space for local start-ups and small businesses to thrive alongside established Nottingham successes such as Dance4 and Confetti.”
Space2 will enable both Dance4 and Confetti to involve citizens and students in the city on a much larger scale than ever before.
Dance4 will use its accessible, fit-for-purpose new home to offer specialist support and space for the research, production and distribution of new choreographic work.
Paul Russ, Dance4’s Chief Executive and Artistic Director said: “It is thrilling to breathe new life into an old factory space to inspire artists, our local community and continue to place Nottingham as a cultural hub for the UK and beyond. Our new centre brings us the opportunity to extend our work in supporting artists and increasing public engagement in choreography and dance.”
While the majority of Confetti activities will remain at its city centre sites, the Confetti expansion to the new space will create opportunities for training and commercial use.
Craig Chettle, Chief Executive Confetti Media Group and Chair Creative Quarter, said: “The Dakeyne Street development is a fantastic new multi-purpose space that we are excited about being a part of. It will open up Notts TV programming to audiences and students – allowing them to witness first-hand the workings of a TV studio and will also create opportunities for training and commercial usage. It will be a flagship centre for the city and an exciting addition to the city’s expanding Creative Quarter.”
Alan Coole, Head of empa, said: “This is an enormously exciting project transforming a former hosiery factory into a new hub for the creative and digital industries. We’re thrilled that such a significant project has been delivered via empa and that the new building will provide a spectacular base, and a further boost to Nottingham’s creative offering.”
Phil Harrison, Managing Director for Wates Construction Midlands and North, said: “Nottingham’s creative sector is thriving and as the city’s new artistic home for creative businesses, Dakeyne Street is set to be a further catalyst for this growth.
“Wates’ close partnership with Nottingham City Council and empa has resulted not only in the successful preservation of this iconic building, but also in the creation of extensive training and employment opportunities for local people, making this a project that has created a lasting legacy for the city.”
Kathy McArdle, Chief Executive, Creative Quarter, said: “The building which is now Space2 has an extraordinary history. Home to the Wilson & Sons factory (manufacturers of the ‘Matron’ brand of hosiery) at the turn of the century, bombed in World War II, and previously occupied by Moot Gallery and Backlit, as well as a host of textiles companies in the 80s and 90s and even a kung fu school!”
“Nottingham City Council and Wates have undertaken an amazing transformation of this beautiful building, and now it is heading towards a glorious future – a centre for creation, learning, and production. We are so proud to have this brilliant new space sitting so close to Sneinton Market, in the ever-expanding Creative Quarter and we can’t wait to see Dance4, Confetti Media Group, and creative and digital businesses taking up residence. This is game-changing for St Ann’s ward and it is wonderful to see it bursting with life again.”