Nov 13

CREATIVE QUARTER LOAN HELPS GALLERY MOVE PREMISES af

Independent commercial art gallery, Syson, has moved to new premises in Nottingham’s Lace Market thanks to a £25,000 Creative Quarter loan, delivered by First Enterprise and Nottingham City Council.

Established in 2013 by independent curator Jennie Syson, the gallery is Nottingham’s newest commercial contemporary art gallery providing a much needed platform for collectors and artists to connect.

Nottingham-born Jennie said: “There is a fantastic artistic community in Nottingham, which is always growing. It is really important to support the artistic economy in Nottingham to help support all the work that is going on and to make sure that we can sustain the creative momentum in the city.

“Syson is a gallery that welcomes individual investors and collectors as well as businesses and organisations. We work with local businesses to help them find the right pieces for them to invest in. Syson is really committed to helping collectors find the right piece, supporting artists and bridging the gap between the two.”

Jennie applied for loan funding through First Enterprise’s and Nottingham City Council’s Creative Quarter Loan Fund to make her venture a success.

The gallery moved to its Weekday Cross location in March this year and now houses a new gallery space, shop and studios after being granted the £25,000 loan.

Jennie added: “Our previous premises were kindly let to us by Antenna but in the past year it was becoming clear that we needed space that was fit for purpose with a tailored gallery space.

“The move wouldn’t have been possible without the support we received from First Enterprise and Nottingham City Council, and in particular Councillor Nick McDonald. Although we had been granted funding from the Arts Council it was all tied up in our programme so we needed some extra funds to get established in our new space.”

The Creative Quarter Loan Fund is a partnership between Nottingham City Council and First Enterprise and is open to both new and existing businesses. The fund has been running since April 2013 and has, so far, helped 39 businesses lending a total of £973,500.

Victoria Copestake, loan fund manager at First Enterprise, said: “We were really excited when Jennie came to us with her business plan. She is very passionate about what she does and extremely knowledgeable in her field.

“There isn’t anything quite like the Syson gallery in Nottingham and we’re really proud to support Jennie to achieve her dream.”

Throughout the next year the gallery will present a series of ambitious projects with represented artists and international guests and also host a comprehensive gallery exhibition programme. This includes solo exhibitions by S Mark Gubb and Tom Pitt; a comprehensive painting survey exhibition curated by John Moores Painting Prize judge, Richard Davey and the gallery will also show work at START Art Fair at Saatchi Gallery in London and The Manchester Contemporary at Granada Studios.

Councillor Nick McDonald, portfolio holder for jobs, growth and transport at Nottingham City Council, added: “We were delighted to be able to support Jennie with her plans to set-up a permanent venue at Weekday Cross. The gallery space is very impressive and further enhances Nottingham’s reputation as a centre for contemporary art. I would encourage everyone to visit Syson Gallery if they have the opportunity to do so as the venue also hosts a shop and studios.”

To apply for Creative Quarter Loan Funding, businesses need to be already based in or relocating to the Creative Quarter area of Nottingham.

Nov 13

Nottingham’s Best Independent Shop is Crowned

In a city well known for the vibrancy of its independent retail scene, one business has just been crowned winner of the Nottingham Top Independent Business Competition 2016′.
Debbie Bryan Gift Shop and Tea Room scooped this year’s award.’ Located on St Mary’s Gate in Nottingham’s historic Lace Market, the shop specialises in British craftsmanship, as well as stocking a wide range of lighting pieces, ceramics, jewellery, artwork and high quality textiles, alongside Debbie’s own signature scarves and brooches.
An independent judging panel comprising of Jodie Baker of last year’s winners The Treat Kitchen; Catherine Mayhew from Nottingham City Council; Suzy Harris, retail expert at Nottingham Trent University and Kevin Urquhart, the managing director of regional magazine, Sixty Nine Degrees .
They had rated the ten businesses on a range of criteria including staff friendliness, customer service, product range, knowledge and individuality. The top ten had been arrived at by a public vote which saw over 100 businesses nominated. The other businesses that made the top ten in the public vote were: Annie’s Burger Shack on Broadway, Specialty Coffee Shop on Friar Lane, Volt Nightclub on Broadway, Dukki Gifts in intu Broadmarsh Centre, Hopkinsons on Station Street, nkd Waxing on Pelham Street and Page 45 on Market Street.
Speaking of her award, Debbie said: “Being shortlisted in the top ten was great and provided a real boost to our business because it drew attention to us. It’s a real coup to have won the competition and when you look at the past winners, we are in some great company.”
Nottingham BID director and owner of independent gift shop, The Tokenhouse, Geoff Williams, said: “Many congratulations to Debbie Bryan on winning the competition. We have lots of great well established independent businesses in the city centre as well as many new and emerging ones, so there was plenty of competition for the title, but Debbie Bryan is a worthy winner.”

Nov 13

City smashes climate targets four years early

Nottingham has surpassed its climate change targets four years early, according to Government data which shows a 33% reduction in the city’s carbon emissions since 2005.

The achievement has beaten a target set by Nottingham City Council to reach a 26% reduction by 2020, and means Nottingham is now producing almost three tonnes less of CO2 per year per person than in 2005.

The city also now boasts the greatest reduction in emissions and the low emissions per person out of the largest UK cities outside London.

“It’s a great achievement to have met this important target four years early,” Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Energy and Sustainability Cllr Alan Clark said. “Nottingham is at the forefront of sustainability awareness and these latest figures maintain the city’s position as the UK’s most energy self-sufficient city.”

“There has been a real move towards sustainability in the city with a wide range of organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors carrying out vital work to reduce our environmental impact. Beating our target is a fantastic recognition of the efforts across the city to achieve this aim.”

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Government data shows that a significant part of this reduction – around 13% – is due to the popularity of public transport, cycling and walking in Nottingham. Statistics also reveal that since 2011-12 there has been a significant fall in the city’s carbon emissions due to a reduction in domestic energy use.

This coincides with Nottingham City Council’s programme of energy saving investments in social housing such as external wall insulation programmes which have also been open to private owners and the installation of solar panels on over 4,000 of council house roof tops.

In April, it was reported that a leisure centre in Nottingham is set to save the council an estimated £10,000 on energy bills and reduce carbon emissions by 41 tonnes thanks to the installation of an 88KWp solar carport.

Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Business, Growth and Transport Nick McDonald said: “We have Europe’s largest fleet of electric buses, the addition of the new Chilwell and Clifton tram routes and £6.1m invested in improving cycling routes to provide great alternatives to using cars to get around the city.

“We are also proving to be very successful in getting government funding to introduce innovative low emission transport options – electric charging infrastructure, all-electric buses, electric taxis, gas-powered buses and improved travel planning for businesses and their staff. The result is that we are continually reducing the environmental impact of transport in Nottingham.”

Nov 13

Local businesses plug into superfast NETwork – via tramlines

Superfast data as well as superfast trams will soon travel along the new Nottingham Express Transit lines to benefit local businesses, thanks to the foresight of Nottingham City Council.

Nottingham is leading the country in an innovative approach that ensures world class fibre optic cabling is installed when major works are being planned. During the construction of the NET tram extension to Clifton South and Toton Lane, the City Council took the opportunity to install 17km of underground telecommunications infrastructure along the routes, taking advantage of lower installation costs, and avoiding any future disruption to car drivers and pedestrians.

Now the City Council has signed a multi-million pound 20-year concession agreement with ITS Technology Group which will see the city’s telecommunications ducting being used to connect local businesses to superfast broadband. The deal is at no cost to the council by ensuring it recoups its initial modest investment, as well as guaranteeing it an income over the life of the project.

Over the period of the agreement, ITS will extend the reach of the fibre network up to 100kms, at no cost to the city council. The network will be operated as an ‘Open Access Network’. This means that any other operator will be able to use the fibre to connect to their customers, and will be able to do so at a fair commercial rate. By having an Open Access Network, customers and businesses benefit from faster and more reliable connectivity at lower costs than are currently available.

Nottingham is fast becoming a hub of creative activity in sectors such as life sciences and digital media. A key factor in supporting this growth is a modern cost-effective telecommunications infrastructure capable of offering low-cost world class connectivity.

Councillor Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Growth and Transport at Nottingham City Council, said: “The City Council took the opportunity to put this vital infrastructure in place while work was underway on the new tramlines, minimising disruption and costs and allowing more local businesses to be connected to superfast broadband.

“This is an exciting new initiative that will have important long-term benefits for the city’s business community and will maintain Nottingham’s position as the best connected city in the UK. Businesses need to keep pace with the rapid developments in internet technology, especially our fast-growing digital media and biotech sectors which are so important for Nottingham’s economic future. This concession agreement does not cost the City Council – in fact we will generate income over the years as the cable network is expanded.”

ITS Technology Group, who are specialists in designing, building and operating high speed networks, have been awarded the 20 year contract to manage the infrastructure and install the telecommunications. They are already delivering similar services to other cities. Their focus will be on the high growth, Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) market, which will include strategic sites along the tram route such as Ng2, Nottingham Science Park and Nottingham’s Enterprise Zone.

As well as managing any future installations, ITS will also bring improvements to the city centre which is currently not served by ‘super-fast’ services, including the Creative Quarter and its newly refurbished creative units at Sneinton Market.

Roy Shelton, CEO of ITS Technology Group, said: “We are delighted to be part of this exciting concession agreement. We look forward to enhancing the digital lives of the businesses and communities that are based around Nottingham city centre. This type of infrastructure investment is essential to the development and regeneration of areas and is the fourth we have completed within the past 18 months to add to our 17 established networks across the UK.”