A centre for the creative arts situated in an old cutlery factory, CADS has now attained official charity status after years of working as a self-sufficient social enterprise with basic support from local and international funding.
Founded in 2009, it has grown from three small studios to an organisation that offers 69 studios in four separate locations.
CADS, at Smithfield, Shalesmoor, also functions as an event space hosting art exhibitions and music gigs and has been used as film locations.
As proven by the boom in Sheffield’s music industry during the Eighties, periods of economic downturn often give rise to innovative new music, arts and industry. CADS perfectly symbolises how great things can come from bad situations, according to Steve Rimmer, CADS manager..
CADS has now grown into one of the biggest studio providers in Sheffield. They are dedicated to supporting new ideas and projects in the creative and digital sector, offering short term rents with no application form and no red tape. They have a commitment to affordable space and flexible terms. They even have a current programme, spaceCADets, that provides six weeks free studio space to develops an idea.
Notable projects that have grown from the CADS creative furnace includes: SKINN a not for profit development agency for Shalesmoor, Kelham Island and Neepsend, wAVE Lab a free digital media education centre and DLS an underground nightclub.
A new addition is the Chop Shop, a CNC fabrication and design facility providing project support to students, start-ups and educational workshops.
Notable users of CADS include Mark Fell, an internationally acclaimed multidisciplinary artist who works with computer-based systems, sound and light. It also hosted three separate exhibitions for Sheffield University’s Festival of The Mind and is the fixed location for the hugely popular Blues Stage at Tramlines Festival.
CADS’ newest venture is to provide a one-stop shop for people looking to rent space in Sheffield. A website launching soon will allow people to upload space they have available and potential tenants can search all the properties. There is a focus on short-term lets and meanwhile space where tenants use a space that has been earmarked for future development.