Sheffield Culture Consortium awarded £550,000 for Making Ways project

Artists: Anthony Bennett / Photographer: Nigel Barker

Sheffield Culture Consortium will receive £550,000 for Making Ways, an ambitious three-year project that will develop, demonstrate and celebrate exceptional contemporary visual art produced in Sheffield.

The project will develop artistic talent and leadership and create a living economy for the arts community that will stimulate and support growth. The Sheffield Culture Consortium (that includes Yorkshire Artspace, Sheffield Theatres Trust, Museums Sheffield, Site Gallery, The University of Sheffield, and Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield City Council) will coordinate a visual art programme that complements the Year of Making Sheffield 2016 - a new festival and partnership between culture and businesses.

Great arts and culture is what makes our city unique.

Kim Streets, Museums Sheffield

Making Ways will be funded by Arts Council England, Sheffield City Council, The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. The project will include: Artists’ Continual Professional Development, (master-classes, industry residences, a bursary programme), large scale outdoor and digital commissions, exhibitions and promotional support delivered in collaboration with industry. The project will begin during the Year of Making Sheffield 2016 and will develop through 2017 and 2018.

Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Chair of the Sheffield Cultural Consortium & Director of City & Cultural Engagement at The University of Sheffield: “The Culture Consortium is naturally delighted that the Arts Council has demonstrated its belief in Sheffield’s potential to harness the value of our artistic community for the city and its economy.

“The most recent *research shows that our publicly invested arts still return 0.4% of the UK’s GVA and contribute indirectly to GVA through tourism, overseas trade and regional growth. Arts and culture industries generated £15.1 billion in turnover in 2012-13 and for every pound generated by the arts and culture industry, an additional £1.06 is generated in the economy.

“The Visual Arts Report launched just last week cited the Millennium Galleries as the most visited free gallery in the North of England and noted that the Cupola Gallery sold over £2 million worth of artwork mostly by local artists.

“This funding means we can develop a three-year programme to build and sustain initiatives to support artists in Sheffield, and to build on the best practice we already deliver in managed studios and galleries. And the Year of Making Sheffield 2016 will be a springboard for this activity.”

Kim Streets, CEO, Museums Sheffield: “Making Ways is a timely strategic investment in our artistic community and builds on what we do well as a city. Sheffield has a reputation for making things happen, for an innovative DIY culture and for growing things from the ground up. Making Ways will harness our potential as a centre of excellence within the visual arts and make a real difference for our artistic community and for the people of Sheffield.

“Great arts and culture is what makes our city unique – it’s what attracts business investment; a skilled workforce and students from around the world seeking a vibrant and exciting place to study. ACE support for Making Ways recognises Sheffield’s talent and says art is not the icing on the cake – it’s the recipe book and the essential ingredient in a successful international city. This is exciting news for Sheffield.”

Richard Jones, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Sheffield: "We’re delighted with this news at the University of Sheffield. We’ve been committed to working with a variety of partners in Sheffield in making the city an even more culturally and economically vibrant place; the Making Ways project is a great recognition of what we’ve been able to achieve so far in uniting culture, innovation and business, and a platform to take those collaborations much further. The Year of Making Sheffield 2016 will be a great platform for everybody in the city to get together and make sure the world knows what an exciting place this is to live, work and create in.”

This funding means we can develop a three-year programme to build and sustain initiatives to support artists in Sheffield.

Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Chair of the Sheffield Cultural Consortium

Professor Roger Eccleston, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts, Computing, Engineering and Sciences (ACES): “Sheffield Hallam University is delighted to be involved in Sheffield’s Year of Making. The University, and our city, have a long tradition of creativity, innovation, design and artistry. Being involved in a city-wide celebration such as the Year of Making Sheffield 2016 is especially fitting now, as our Sheffield Institute of Arts takes up residence in its new home at the Head Post Office, and we launch our own Catalyst Festival for the arts.”

Cllr Sioned-Mair Richards, Acting Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods: "This is great news for the city and its creative community. Sheffield City Council is delighted to support the work of the Sheffield Culture Consortium, which has become a strong and successful partnership mechanism for bringing cultural investment into the city".

Master Cutler Craig McKay and CEO of Sheffield engineering firm Evenort Ltd: “We need to ensure Making Ways creates strong and productive links between the artists communities and business. “I am part of a group of representatives from every form of making in the city that are working collaboratively to drive activity through the Year of Making Sheffield 2016. Sheffield has always appreciated its artistic talent and this funding will be significant in helping us to ensure that the artistic community becomes a greater part of its economy.”

The Culture Consortium is planning the details of the programme following the funding announcement. Further information about the project and the events and opportunities available through this programme will be published on the Consortium website.www.sheffieldculture.co.uk