Place shaping

Creative Space has a 15-year track record of producing and operationalising place-shaping projects and interim use strategies for public and private sector clients.  During this time we’ve seen local areas transformed around projects that we have driven forward.

Hull Fruit Market is an example of how Creative Space can start the long process of adding value to semi-derelict and under-used areas of a city.

Creative Space was appointed by Hull Forward to develop a large scale Meanwhile Use Strategy for The Fruit Market in Hull during Autumn 2009. Following wide ranging research and a large-scale public consultation event, plans to bring a first wave of eleven substantial properties back in to use for creative and cultural end uses were adopted by city partners. A publication was produced by Creative Space to mark the transition of the street from a wholesale market to a new creative industries quarter for the city.

Creative Space was retained to assist in implementing the strategy in Spring 2010. This resulted in a number of creative ventures taking premises on Humber Street as part of the first wave of the strategy. These include Fruit, a new performing arts venue and bar and a number of other important projects including a gallery, studio space, a sculpture workshop, a jewellery collective, a microbrewery, a visual arts studio space and several others.

Quickly gaining traction, the evident impact that the project had was a key contributor to Hull gaining UK City of Culture status, following which more businesses took up the remaining buildings on the street and there were further improvements to the public realm.  What had begun as an interim use project evolved into a permanent creative and leisure destination.

As part of Creative Space’s early work, a business plan and brief was prepared for a large serviced office development to be targeted at digital innovation businesses.  This plan was taken up and driven forward by developers, Wykeland and opened in 2015 as C4DI, a leading location for tech business in the North.

Further significant developments continue to be attracted to the Fruit Market, building on the success of this indigenous cluster.  This includes more commercial workspace developments alongside residential and leisure in what is now acknowledged as the cultural heart of the city. To date this urban regeneration project has attracted over £80m of investment.

With the objective of building profile, reducing liabilities from business rates, risks of vandalism and spiralling security and management costs, meanwhile uses can provide productive use of empty buildings and public spaces, support start-up and early years businesses as well as bring activity and life to areas that could be blighted by a lack of residents and commercial occupiers for many years to come.  Ultimately these projects can contribute to long-term change of uses for neighbourhoods.

The range of work carried out by Creative Space includes helping to create a new sense of opportunity as well as communities of interest in areas and bringing land and buildings into short and medium-term uses that anticipate longer-term regeneration.  This can be particularly important whilst large scale redevelopment is planned.

what our clients say

We are confident that the Toffee Factory will successfully meet the needs of businesses in the creative and cultural sector, following CSM’s expert advice on the business plan and detailed design of the building.

Vicky Cuthbertson, Planning & Strategy Manager, 1NG Limited.

Case Studies

Luminous Group

Luminous group, a collaboration of three sister companies – Digital Surveys, Digital VR and Digital Architecture, came to Toffee Factory in December 2011. Moving in under the name eBIM…

Publish Interactive

Publish Interactive, which provides e-publishing software solutions for market research publishers, moved its then small team into the Round Foundry Media Centre in 2009 and in just three years…

The Core, Newcastle Helix

Entrusted with developing the detailed business plan for a 5,000 sq m growth accelerator for spin-out companies from Newcastle University and for firms focused on science, technology and sustainability,…