Artists facing uncertain future due to Sheffield flats plans

Kiran Antcliffe, of CADS art studio, St Vincent's Quarter
Kiran Antcliffe, of CADS art studio, St Vincent's Quarter

PLANS have been submitted to turn a former Sheffield cutlery factory into housing - but which could also leave a collective of 40 artists without a base.

Sheffield Council has received plans to convert the Grade II listed former Kutrite Factory, at Smithfield in the St Vincent’s Quarter, into seven houses and eight apartments.

A further 19 terraced homes with parking and landscaping would also be created in the area on surrounding land which adjoins Allen Street and Snow Lane.

The old Kutrite Factory is currently the home of CADS - Creative Arts Development Space - which rents the building and lets space to artists, recording studios, designers and photographers.

Kiran Antcliffe, operations manager for CADS, said: “We have been going for about two years. Not many places have the mix of artists we do.

“While there are other such buildings in the city centre, they tend to be centred towards one thing, such as Bank Street Arts or Stag Works, which is predominantly for music.

“We are not angry with the owners, it’s just what happens with these old buildings. However, it is a bit of a shame.”

But Mr Antcliffe said CADS has not yet been given notice to leave. The organisation has a lease until 2014.

He added: “The message we want to get across to artists is that these plans are not immediate and we hope to be able to stay for a few more years yet.”

Two public comments have been submitted to the council so far - one for, and one against the project.

Anne Greaves, a supporter of the plans, said: “I live and work in this area and welcome proposals to regenerate it.

“My only concern is that the appearance of the industrial buildings should be changed as little as possible in order to preserve the character and historical significance of the area.

“Looking at the plans it certainly seems as though that will be the case.”

But Christopher Singleton, who is against the scheme, argued: “This is an industrial area with limited parking and is not suitable for private dwellings.

“The access is limited from all directions and any building work would cause severe problems for companies trading in the area.”

Applicant Elmsdale Estates, of Broomhill, was unavailable for comment.

Sheffield Council has not set a date for a decision.