The Canning Circus Creative Hub (CCCH) is a collection of over 20 creative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), some of which are now at serious risk of eviction, with no support, financial or otherwise, from the Labour-controlled Nottingham city council (NCC). With a lack of equivalent property, facilities, rates, etc., in and around Nottingham, many of these businesses may be forced to close or relocate out of the city.
Rather than issue an eviction date, NCC have stated that they want the SMEs at 175-179 Wollaton Street to disperse quietly by June 2014. The artists' cooperative at 179 has existed there since 1984.
With the very public headline of a £60m investment in a ‘Creative Quarter’ aimed at attracting creative talent to the city, NCC has decided to dismantle our successful creative hub and will therefore allow this pool of talent and experience to drift away from the city. The hub has been completely self-sustaining financially for 30 years. We export the Nottingham creative brand worldwide with an impressive track record of national and international output and ambassadorship over the years.
In addition, we have offered valuable opportunities to many aspiring artists, technicians, promoters and SMEs over the years through various mentoring and tutoring programmes. At least one of the CCCH members taught and nurtured 15-year-old musician Jake Bugg. Jake and the current awesome crop of Nottingham talent are finding success which is founded on the efforts of those who installed Nottingham’s creative infrastructure over many years. CCCH made a real contribution to that infrastructure.
We now face the very real and imminent loss or our premises, our community and our livelihood. This is not good for the social and economic capital of Nottingham on many levels.
We would like Cllr Jon Collins, leader of NCC, to answer the following questions:
1. Why was our longstanding expertise and pool of talent, existing without recourse to public funds, ignored during the set up of the Creative Quarter?
2. Do you have any concern for the livelihoods of the creative people housed in NCC-owned property in Canning Circus?
3. Why did it take a social media campaign and MP involvement to get offers of ANY support?
4. How is an apparently homogenised plan for student flats in the Canning Circus area justified against claims to support local independent SMEs? Precipitous turnover drops in the summer trading months are a real problem for independent businesses.
We appreciate your support.
Mike Wynne, Coordinator, Canning Circus Creative Hub