Sheffield’s creative businesses supported to set up and grow

Sheffield’s creative businesses supported to set up and grow

31 August 2016

Image:  CADS Team (Top row: Emma Gutierrez, Paul Rimmer and Claire Rimmer. Bottom row: Kiran Antcliffe, Steve Rimmer, Dan Butlin and Sam Parkin)

Photo credit:  Sammi Sparke Photography

Mills, factories and disused buildings across Sheffield are being transformed into thriving hubs of creativity, thanks to a pioneering arts charity Creative Arts Development Space (CADS) working with small businesses to set up and grow.

Sheffield based CADS was originally set up seven years ago as a social enterprise and achieved its charitable status in 2012.  Now employing six people and working with volunteers, it operates by taking the lease of disused buildings and repurposing them to enable start-ups, new projects and creative individuals to rent them out. Established in 2009 after founder Steve Rimmer found a gap in the market whilst trying to rent and sub-let his own studio space; the aim of CADS is to help other creative businesses in Sheffield find the right space and support to set up and grow.

With a portfolio of 10 buildings, five of which are in the city centre, CADS act as an estate agent for disused buildings, organising the legal side of the lease and determining business rates. It also provides subsidized and free space and works closely with organisations like Business Sheffield (the business facing arm of Sheffield City Council) to provide early stage start-up and business support services.

With over 100 clients, CADS works with a range of creative businesses including cafes that incorporate art and design, social enterprises, theatre groups, clothing makers and web designers.

To get started with their social enterprise, CADS received support from Business Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. This involved everything from business planning, business growth and advice, marketing assistance and connecting the CADS team with the right networks.

Cllr Leigh Bramall, Sheffield City Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Business and Economy, said: “Organisations like CADS are what make Sheffield such a great, friendly place to do business and why we manage to attract and retain creative talented people.”

Sam Parkin, Business Manager at CADS Sheffield, said: “Sheffield is a great place to set up a creative business, and the city houses lots of small creative businesses. It’s a really unique city as it has lots of space available right in the city centre which we can provide at an affordable price.

“Our charity is doing really well. We have seen year on year growth over the last three years and we are in the process of transitioning from a start-up to an established organisation. In fact, over the last couple of months we have been working on our first Social Impact report which will demonstrate what we do as a charity. As a city, Sheffield has a do-it-yourself culture and I’ve found it to be a very supportive place for small creative businesses - it’s great for us at CADS to be a part of this culture.”

Business Sheffield works with talented people like the CADS team, shaping the city’s economy by supporting innovation and accelerating business growth. All Business Sheffield professional services are completely free and impartial. Call them on 08000435522 to learn more.