Sheffield opens its mind

Sheffield’s Co-operative department store will be transformed into a creative hub for the Festival of the Mind 2014

Sheffield’s once-thriving Co-operative department store at Castle House will be transformed into a creative hub as it opens its doors for the first time in many years during the University of Sheffield’s Festival of the Mind 2014.

The project has developed out of a year-long partnership between the University, Sheffield City Council and some of the city’s young entrepreneurs, which brought internationally-renowned regeneration expert Marcus Westbury to Sheffield in February.

Mr Westbury spoke about his pioneering work to reuse vacant buildings in his home town of Newcastle, Australia, which has transformed the area. Since then, a succession of innovative projects have been launched in Sheffield, of which this is the most ambitious to date.

The ground floor of the Grade Two listed Castle House building, which has stood empty since the store closed, will host the Sheffield Bazaar – featuring 20 specially-commissioned temporary art installations, funded by £46,800 from the Arts Council.

The remainder of the 1960s building will also be open during the 11-day Festival of the Mind (Thursday 18 September to Sunday 28 September), showcasing ground-breaking collaborations between academics from the University of Sheffield and local people in the creative and cultural industries at venues across the city.

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