[ncpm] Future of the NCPM

  • From: Steve Buckley <steve@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncpm@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 01 Oct 2002 20:51:09 +0100

-please comment and circulate-

Below are two "non-papers" on the future of the former NCPM
building. They have no official status and are circulated purely
to encourage and provoke discussion.

The non-papers have been written in the context of proposals
from the South Yorkshire Objective 1 Programme and Yorkshire
Forward for a "creative content hub" and the likelihood that this
will require (in part) a building-based solution.

The non-papers are close to the current thinking of a task group
of the Sheffield Cultural Industries Quarter Agency. Comments,
additions, amendments and critique are invited and encouraged.
Comments (for public view) can be sent to <ncpm@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>.

To receive comments and replies go to www.freelists.org/list/ncpm
and subscribe to the <ncpm> list or you can view the archives at


Non-paper A - Context and analysis

1. Sheffield's CIQ is already a creative content hub.

Evidenced by creative content venues including Showroom
Cinema, Site Gallery, Leadmill, Republic. Creative industries
companies in the Workstation and Science Park. Training and
access opportunities at Red Tape, Sheffield Independent Film,
Site Gallery, Northern Media School, Commedia Sheffield,
Redundant Technology Initiative. Strategic support agencies
such as CIQA, Inspiral, YMPA, CMA.

- Other locations only partially provide this mix

Traditional arts venues are to be found around Tudor Square
including Graves Gallery, Crucible and  Lyceum Theatres.
Devonshire Quarter has creative retail but is a mainly night-time
leisure economy and lacks a production base. Only the CIQ
combines learning, production, strategic support and leisure.

- But more investment is needed in the CIQ

Building based development has been slow due to funding
and ownership issues. There has been little growth in the
leisure economy and, with notable exceptions (Republic,
Brown Street, Sound Control), leisure and retail enterprises
have not been drawn to the area. Pressure of space and rent
has created a churn of smaller creative enterprises setting up
but then moving on. There is a need for more low cost
workspace, seed bed units and incentives for new enterprise
including leisure economy entrepreneurs.

- And past failures need to be addressed

A flagship public investment initiative, the NCPM, failed
as a visitor attraction and now lies largely empty and
unused at the heart of the CIQ. As the iconic building at
the heart of the CIQ it desperately needs a regenerative
solution and one which is linked to public use and creative

2. A creative content hub needs a physical centre

A hub whose purpose is to promote and develop South
Yorkshire as a leading centre for creative content must have
a physical location in the region as well as a powerfully
branded virtual presence. This should include a distinctive
building-based solution for the provision of location-based
activities such as trade exhibitions and conferences, cultural
and other public events, workshops and forums.

- Supporting creative production and performance

The physical hub should bring content direct to audiences
through programmes of live performance and demonstration.
It should support creative production by providing access to
open content and commercial library material and it should
showcase the best creative content from the region. It should
build strong links with learning institutions and leading edge
technical solutions providers.

- Linked to multiple distributive platforms

A physical hub must be outward looking to regional, national
and international audiences. It should be a network and
communications centre providing access to broadcast and
narrow-cast platforms including radio and television, video
conferencing, broadband Internet, cable and satellite. It should
build strong national and international partnerships with other
communicative creative content hubs.

3. The NCPM building is the only short term solution

Although hub activities may be spread across physical and
virtual spaces it needs a distinctive centre in the CIQ. The
NCPM is the only available building that fits the requirements
in the short term. Other solutions would require new building
work. In addition to being more expensive this would risk the
same mistake that plagued the original NCPM of leaving too
little time and money to invest in content.


Non-paper B - Towards a vision and strategy

1. Outline concept

- a regional creative content centre
- a flagship centre for the CIQ
- for public use and public benefit
- showcasing digital and media arts
- with cultural and educational activities
- including live performance

2. Content

- cultural conferences and events
- digital content exhibitions
- multimedia production studios
- digital media archive
- digital cinema
- public bar and cybercafe
- digital media enterprise units
- on-line learning showcase
- live music and sound art
- computer games zone
- arts and media workshops
- product launches and demos
- community media centre

3. Local contributions

- Showroom Cinema - digital cinema, conference bookings, bar, caf=E9
- Paternoster Limited - property and tenant management services
- Red Tape Studios - music-based digital sound training and production
- Sheffield Independent Film - film and video training and facilities
- Lovebytes Digital Arts - multimedia and interactive content, festival
- Commedia Sheffield - media training, production and broadcast centre
- BTV - digital arts festival, new media content
- Modal - international music industry festival

4. Potential private partnerships

- Telewest - cable, local TV, broadband
- BT - broadband, video on demand
- other telcos and mobile phone cos
- software games companies
- e-learning companies
- open source software cos
- hospitality management cos
- music and multimedia cos
- film and broadcasting cos

5. Mechanisms

- a locally led development group
- external advisors and private partners
- investment in building improvements
- a content investment fund (linked to YMPA)
- an incentive fund for festivals and events
- incentives for inward investors and private backers

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