I have attended a number of events at MATILDA over the past year and have followed their story online with great interest. Although I am sad to see the building go (yet another perfectly usuable space left empty awaiting demolition / redevelopment) It is the MATILDA community I am sad to see go.
There are very few genuine examples of community left and this is yet another destroyed by the corporate giants. I doubt few people reading this can even tell me the name of their next door neighbour. Where else in Sheffield can you name a truly not for profit community organisation comprising of such a diversity of people working together to such a great result.
These people have given their time, creativity and talent to create the best community resource I have known in Sheffield for a long time. To create a thriving social centre with live performances, film evenings, art exhibitions, socials, workshops and loads of other stuff.
Yorkshire Forward are hiding behind some feeble excuse regarding health and safety - if this is truly the case, why not donate one of their other empty buildings for a peppercorn rent ? The truth being that they couldn't care less - if it doesn't make them money then they're not interested. They can try and make nice fluffy PR statements that don't offend their investors too much - but they are yet another corporate organision with no concern of what the people of Sheffield actually want from their city.
Is it just me - or is anyone else seeing a lack of culture in the "so called" Cultural Industries Quarter?
I hope that the wonderful network of individuals who created this space don't let Yorkshire Forward defeat them - Matilda Street may be over but I hope this is merely the end of a chapter and I eagarly await their return elsewhere.
PS. For anyone who has not seen the building recently go and take a look - its amazing - they have painted the names of all the bands that have played there over the past year in the windows and the building is covered in messages about what MATILDA has meant to people. There are even flowers tied all over the front of the building as a tribute.
Lets see if any of Yorkshire Forwards mass produced flats and offices get that reaction when they are due to be demolished.