The Works vs The Park

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Little London Road holds both the Centenary Works and the Nursery Works, whilst just across Woodseats Road, the Acorn Business Park can be found. The old industrial works have been modified and hacked over the years as needs arise, however this adapting has been a two way thing. Yes, to a certain extent the users can change the site to suit their needs. However more than anything the users have to be willing to fit in with the old buildings and work with the spaces available.

The site brings its own level of charm, character and frustration. It is one of the many old river-based industry nooks within Sheffield and requires a certain special appreciation for its ruff appearance and history. Much like Marmite I feel it is a typical place people either love or hate. I love this old style and have experienced it personally over the years whilst working in one and studying a martial arts in another (to the point of it being a second home).

They can be terrible for heating/maintenance/sound/appearance but charming in their character and pretty cheap to rent! And although fairly common at the moment, their numbers are declining as the council make way for new construction within the city. This means the small businesses which take advantage of the cheap rent and/or just simply love the spaces, are more likely to struggle in the future and Sheffield will lose some of its history with every demolition.

This happened with the martial arts building mentioned above, which also housed an old printing press and boxing club. It was torn down to make room for the new commercial quarter before the recession, and today still sits as an over grown empty plot. We were instead moved to a recent development by the council with its cookie-cutter units. Very similar to the Acorn Business Park that is one of the typical 90’s cookie-cutter staples. The same square office is stamped, surrounded by organised car parking and sensible hedges.

But time has not been kind to the Business Park and it is looking rough around the edges. In many ways I doubt it will last nearly as long as the Little London Road Works have.

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