Sheffield is transforming mills, factories and disused buildings into creative hubs, through charity Creative Arts Development Space (CADS).

It’s working with small businesses, including digital agencies to help them set up and grow. This involves providing subsidised and free workspaces.

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Established in 2009 and achieving charitable status in 2012, it now employs 6 people and effectively acts as a landlord. It takes the lease of disused buildings and repurposes them to rent out. It now works with 100 businesses,  operating 10 buildings, half of which are in the city centre.

“Sheffield is a great place to set up a creative business, and the city houses lots of small creative businesses. It’s a really unique city as it has lots of space available right in the city centre which we can provide at an affordable price,” said Sam Parkin, business manager at CADS Sheffield.

“Our charity is doing really well. We have seen year on year growth over the last three years and we are in the process of transitioning from a start-up to an established organisation. In fact, over the last couple of months we have been working on our first Social Impact report which will demonstrate what we do as a charity. As a city, Sheffield has a do-it-yourself culture and I’ve found it to be a very supportive place for small creative businesses – it’s great for us at CADS to be a part of this culture.”

CADS has received backing from Business Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University.