Help us resurrect Rutland Hall as a building for the community! We are an arts organisation called Backstreet Box who specialise in renovating previously unused sites into arts spaces and venues for housing local work and encouraging community togetherness through the arts.
Our plan is to renovate this hall into an arts space and theatre called ‘The Railway Playhouse’ which will provide an accessible hub for performance and art from the local areas and from the Universities of Sheffield.
Neepsend is a largely industrial area, and since major floods in 2007, it has been subject to many disused sites and abandonment. However, it is within 15 minutes walk from the centre of Sheffield. And popularity among locals, students and art groups alike has began to grow as the area becomes recognised for its friendly pubs along the canals, Yellow Arch studio venue and some other gallery spaces.
We hope to become a big part of the rehabilitation of this amazing area. As we move in to Rutland Hall alongside In2Change charity, this building will become an important landmark for the community.
We aim to open in March 2016, with an original play written by a student in Sheffield. Our team will build an outreach to local business’, local art groups and artists/comedians/musicians to offer them a place to exhibit their work and also come to watch others.
Later in the year we will be starting weekly drama workshops with the children from the charity. Giving them an opportunity to get creative and put on some productions in the venue.
We need funds to get started with this exciting project; to get in a basic lighting rig, to market and build an outreach to artists and to audiences, to fix some cosmetic ware in the building, and primarily to make the space ready for performers and exhibitionists.
The currently semi-derelict building is now in the hands of local charity ‘In2Change’ who work with disadvantaged youth and help prevent involvement in crime. They plan to move into the building by January 2016 and they have generously given us permanent access and use of the downstairs hall for our project.
Please help us begin our journey – creating a home for Sheffield’s community artwork!