We recently launched Sheffield’s first community share issue to fund the purchase and refurbishment of Portland Works. In order to get to this stage we explored the options, learnt from the precedents set by other projects, constituted as an IPS, produced a detailed business plan, developed networks with cultural and educational organisations, changed local planning policy, and galvanised both local and national support. We have also got to know each other much better; there have been thousands of hours volunteered, funds raised, skills shared and ideas debated.
The research we have undertaken to reach this point has taken numerous forms, including: exhibitions, conference papers, audits, case studies, student projects, workshops, and films. It has been carried out collaboratively, led by our shared understanding of the project as it developed, with no predetermined outcome. We believe that much can be learnt from our experiences and the knowledge the project has generated, which is why we have written a fantastic book to tell our story! This book is a deliberately eclectic collection of fragments, traces and snapshots, which weave a tapestry of events as they unfolded. We hope that it will be useful for others wishing to embark on similar journeys to hear about what we did; our successes, mistakes and explorations.
Click here to download our book for free (note: 25MB)