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Guest Blog: Kathy’s View

Kathy McArdle outside the office of the Creative Quarter company

[We have often blogged about the Creative Quarter Initiative ourselves and given the pulpit to guest bloggers. Today we have pleasure in a guest blog from Kathy McArdle, the Chief Operating Officer of the Creative Quarter company. Over to Kathy:]

Kathy McArdle outside the office of the Creative Quarter companyLife in The Creative Quarter is really exciting at the moment and there’s a lot happening at quite a fast pace. In this blog I’ll tell you a bit about some of the exciting developments in the area and across the city that will have an impact fairly quickly.

Markets in The Creative Quarter

I am absolutely delighted that The Creative Quarter will play host to a variety of new markets on Lace Market Square in the coming months to complement the lively and well-established Open Market on Sneinton Square. The two new markets will be run by Nottingham StrEAT and All About Tourism and they are working closely with Sneinton Market and NottsNosh to ensure their offers are complementary. The Nottingham StrEAT market will happen on the first Saturday of every month. The Crafts Market will happen on the last Saturday of every month run by All About Tourism. Stalls are very affordable. For more info on both or to book a stall see: and to book for Crafts market contact andy AT To book a stall at Sneinton Open Market email Wendy Honeyman-Smith (w.honeyman-smith AT To get involved with the events surrounding the market just email me at kathy AT


I’m pretty busy at the moment, attending a lot of events to promote The Creative Quarter company and the work of organisations within the Creative Quarter. One of these is to support The Pi Street project and I’m coming along to talk at Cellar 54 on 26 September from 12 pm to 8 pm. The theme of the talk will be supporting independent retail and I’ll be coming along with Elizabeth Cooper from the City Council who works in this area. This links to Nottingham City Council’s Retail Nottingham strategy which places a high emphasis and value on independent retail in the city. The City Council want to hold an Independent Retail Social event to talk to independent retailers about how they can be better supported by the City. If you’re interested, are an independent retailer and would like to attend, email Elizabeth.Cooper AT to ask her to add your name to the invite list.

I’m also doing a talk at the Galleries of Justice on Thursday 19th September at 5.30 pm in support of their ‘Help A Nottinghamshire Child’ campaign (more info:

It’s impossible to go to everything in The Creative Quarter or in the city – we are really spoilt for choice – but there are some things I’m really looking forward to attending:

  • Design Week at Designer Forum (23 – 27 Sep) will be awesome I think. I’ve already booked to go to one of the seminars.
  • I’ll definitely be checking out the Great Notts show from 27 to 29 September. With I’m Not From London doing one of the music stages and Little Wolf Parade doing an entire tent it promises to be just extraordinary. Andy Whyles is a legend!
  • I can’t wait to see the outcome of Kirsty Fox’s project ‘Memories of The Future’, happening at The Corner from 8 to 12 October, exploring the relationship between analogue and digital technologies. Video is here:
  • And Debbie Bryan is always up to something special. The Design Room at Debbie Bryan Studio & Shop is having a weekend away on the 16 and 17 November at The Space at Nottingham Contemporary. A fantastic 2 – day creative event that includes SPEED CRAFT, 6 crafts in 1 day, new creative workshops and a free Saturday night craft making event slotted right in the middle. ( for more info).

Public community wi-fi at Sneinton Market

I had a great site visit about a week ago with Phil Campbell, Cellar 54, to Victoria Centre to explore the possibility of putting up a wi-fi aerial on the clock-tower of the centre to allow the Capital FM arena to work with Cellar 54. It was very exciting going up into the Clock-Tower and getting a feel for its history. To read the whole story see Phil’s blog. While we don’t have mega-resources, the CQ are keen to support this initiative and help bring it through to fruition. I think this initiative could be transformative for Sneinton open market and really encourage visitors to come into the area. It will also contribute to the amazing community-building work that is going on in Sneinton and St Ann’s. Anything I can do to help this project I will.

The Creative Quarter company has come out in support of the traders at Sneinton Market and of The Council in their bid to buy the market. See for our position.

Other Developments: Our website is on its way…..

We have commissioned The Creative Quarter website. Woohoo! It was a tough decision but we’re delighted to announce that the tender for the CQ website has been won by the team at Impression a digital marketing agency based in the CQ. Co-founders, Aaron and Tom said

“We believe we can provide a technically excellent solution to the project that will deliver on the CQ’s aims. We’re also residents in the CQ and are keen to see regeneration in the area and want to contribute to its growth and success.”

Impression are also working with Norman Heyes from Waste Studio who will collaborate with them on the design aspect of the site. We are keen to feature local businesses on the site, so we’ll send round a proforma for businesses to get their details on there. We’re also setting up an image bank of the area so if anyone wants to contribute photos for the site, we’d love to see them. And we want to feature partner content as much as possible so we’ll be talking to all of you about featuring your content. If you’re interested in contributing in any way get in touch.

And we’re drawing up an action plan to get property and offices back into use….

Nottingham Regeneration Limited are currently working on the property action plan for The Creative Quarter. We are interested in seeing any vacant offices, units or spaces that you know about. And we’d like to hear any thoughts, suggestions or ideas you have for bringing properties back into use, without spending vast amounts of money on capital development. Feel free to get in touch to show us any spaces that you think we need to see. One example of plans already in motion is Cobden Chambers, a surprising cluster of beautiful old buildings, nestled behind the bustle of Pelham Street. It is being brought back to life by local property developers, Bildurn, and is due to open at the start of 2014.

Cobden Chambers is a new, exciting development in Nottingham’s Creative Quarter, and is being designed to promote, encourage and support the very best in contemporary craft and design in Nottingham, the East Midlands and beyond. The Chambers is made up of The Terraces and Cobden Place, both of which surround the large, central Courtyard.

The Terraces is a unique Victorian building, housing up to 10 individual units, each of which can be used for retail space, as workshops, as studios, or a combination of all three. These units will be home, exclusively, to small businesses who design and make their own products; from fashion designers to jewellers; from fine artists to crafters, and anything a bit quirky and left-of-field; the unifying element being their strong sense of design and passion for quality. It is to become one of only a few place in the United Kingdom open to the public, where designers can produce and sell their work on the premises.

Cobden Place will be home to a new concept department store offering tailor-made retail space at affordable prices on easy in-easy out terms. It will be a tourist destination offering local products, local history and exciting shop fit. For residents and visitors it will be a unique shopping experience housing a variety of micro-businesses and independent brands over four floors all under one roof. Liam and Becky from Evergate Limited describe it as ‘Imagination meets Retail’.

The Courtyard will play host to pop-up street food vendors, markets and street art, drawing visitors into the Chambers and creating a dynamic, vibrant atmosphere. There will also be seating for tourists and local workers to take their lunch in this little oasis in the centre of the city.

For more information about The Terraces, or to arrange a viewing, contact Fay Wilkinson on 01159 413 366 or email fay AT To find out more about how to get involved with Cobden Place email evergatelimited AT

Finally, I’ll be hosting my first ever coffee morning for anyone who wants to drop in and have a chat with me. It will be on the 24th September from 10 am to 12 pm and I’ll be at Hartley’s as Coffee-Drinker in Residence for the morning if they’ll have me. If you want to catch me about anything or find out more about anything in this update, come and find me. It’s drop in so no need to book. I’ll be doing one every week and changing the location regularly but I thought I’d start at Hartley’s as it’s a home-from-home.

That’s it for now. Get in touch!

Kathy is the Chief Operating Officer of the Creative Quarter company. She can be contacted on kathy AT or followed on twitter @CQKathy and @CQNottm and she encourages the use of the hashtag #creativequarter. The office at 11 Beck Street, Nottingham NG1 1EQ is staffed Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, and occasionally other times.