An innovative project to transform a disused former Art College into a landmark centre for creativity in Doncaster has been given the go ahead. The £8million regeneration of Church View, previously Doncaster Art College, has taken a giant step after Doncaster Council granted the project full planning permission.
The project, led by the Doncaster Central Development Trust (DCDT), aims to turn Church View, which has stood empty for four years, into a multi-occupancy building providing infrastructure and resources for the creative, digital, arts and social enterprise sectors.
Internally the building will be transformed with 50,000 sq ft of space encompassing 58 new studios, offices and workspaces created around a landscaped courtyard.
John Wright, head of enterprise at Doncaster Central Development Trust (DCDT), said: “We believe Church View will become a centre point for the community in Doncaster. We hope it will attract back graduates who have left the town as well as local entrepreneurs who want a credible, creative setting in which to develop their business ideas. As a not-for-profit organisation, we are wholeheartedly committed to using Church View for the good of the community. We want it to be a really stimulating place and a building local people are justifiably proud of.”
Built in 1913, Church View has a unique architecture and a distinctive place in the local community.
It is hoped the building, which will also include a bar and café and a conference space, will be open for June 2011 – providing a base for more than 50 artists, digital businesses and meeting rooms.
DCDT was set up to continue the work of the New Deal for Communities scheme – a £52million drive to transform several areas near Doncaster town centre. The development is expected to provide a legacy for New Deal for Communities and act as a catalyst for the further regeneration of the area.