A walking trail of Sheffield’s modernist architectural gems is just one of the projects set to benefit from a £150,000 boost for local culture.
The investment was granted to bolster the city’s growing reputation as a cradle for music and the arts, as The Star revealed yesterday, in the hope of attracting more tourists from across the UK and abroad.
It is the second tranche of Cultural Destinations funding awarded by Arts Council England to the Sheffield Culture Consortium, comprising of arts organisations across the city.
Claire Thornley, of Eleven Design, which will get some of the cash to develop its cultural guide to the city, Our Favourite Places, said there were already grand plans for the money.
The plans include teaming up with the Sheffield-based artist and writer Tim Etchells to create a trail of the city’s eye-catching modern architecture.
“Park Hill is well known but there’s a lot of other listed modern architecture across the city which even many of the people living here don’t know about,” she said. “By promoting architectural treats like the Moore Street electrical substation as part of a trail to follow we hope to spread the word and attract more visitors.”
Etchells’ alternative and often comical approach to the arts, including one 24-hour-long production, have earned him international acclaim.
Audiences at next year’s Off The Shelf Festival of Words will be able to experience Sheffield afresh via his highly original viewpoint on the Modernist City, incorporating the walking trail.
Our Favourite Places will concentrate on promoting Sheffield through five key themes celebrating the city’s cultural strengths: street art, festivals, modernist architecture, music and beer.
Although Sheffield’s growing reputation for beer is well known throughout Yorkshire, Ms Thornley claimed its brewing credentials remained untapped when it came to drawing ale aficionados from further afield.
She said Sheffield had plenty to offer but it was important to package the city’s attractions to ensure those coming for a festival or event were able to appreciate its other charms.
“This funding is a great opportunity for partners in the city to work together on joined-up messages about Sheffield’s cultural offer so that we can promote the city to multiple audiences,” she added.
The £150,000 will fund major projects by two other artists, besides Tim Etchells.
The internationally renowned cartoonist and illustrator Phlegm, whose intricate black-and-white murals have livened up walls across Sheffield and other cities, will create and commission new works for Sheffield’s Street Art Festival in 2018.
The artist has just completed an eight-storey high mural in Toronto, Canada, believed to be possibly the world’s tallest piece of street art, so he may have something equally spectacular in store for his home city.
Mark Fell, an avant garde music producer, hailed by the Royal Festival Hall as one of the world’s ‘most important’ electronic artists, will create and commission work celebrating Sheffield as a Music City.
The project, details of which have yet to be unveiled, will be an extension of the Sheffield Makes Music/BBC Music Day taking place this June.
Sarah Maxfield, Arts Council England’s north area director, said the funding was ‘fantastic news’ for the region.
“This investment will capitalise on the rich variety of arts and culture on offer here – positioning places as diverse as the rural Lake District, the metropolitan borough of Calderdale, and cities such as Sheffield and Manchester as leading cultural destinations,” she said.
“Over the coming years we hope to see these ambitious projects encouraging growth in the local visitor economy, and attracting more people from across the country – and indeed the world – to these great places.”
Sheffield Culture Consortium will work with partners including Sheffield Council and the University of Sheffield to promote an ‘authentic’ taste of Sheffield to audiences across the globe.
Kate Dore, who chairs the consortium, said: “It’s great news for Sheffield that the Culture Consortium has been awarded further Cultural Destinations funding by the Arts Council.
“Over the last three years, the first phase of this funding has really helped to cement the relationships between Sheffield’s outstanding festivals to the benefit of a wider audience, and to spread the word about our incredibly rich and authentic cultural offer through Our Favourite Places.
“Now the consortium is looking forward to working in partnership to develop the diverse, year-round programme of festivals and arts events as a way for people to navigate the wealth of cultural opportunities in Sheffield and to drive more people to come and enjoy our vibrant and exciting city.”
Coun Mary Lea, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure, claimed the money would enable the city to better spread the word about all it has to offer.
“While we know that we have a thriving cultural scene here in Sheffield, with a vibrant mix of major events, festivals, art and much more, we know that we can always do better when it comes to shouting about it,” she said.
“That’s why this grant money is so important. With the funding, we will be able to raise the profile of Sheffield’s unique offer and encourage even more people to come here to sample our real ale scene, see a varied and eclectic range of artworks, and enjoy our events calendar.
“I look forward to seeing what the year ahead has in store.”
Professor Vanessa Toulmin, the University of Sheffield’s director of cultural engagement, said: “We are excited that the university will work with the Culture Consortium around enhancing, supporting and demonstrating our cultural vibrancy as a city as recognised by this award.
“Together we will celebrate our international artists, our amazing art, music and other areas where Sheffield leads the way. We will showcase a city that attracts visitors, enhances the student experience and benefits the residents – a city we are justly proud of.”