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Creative Cardiff Pop-Up Hub

In June 2016, the University's Creative Economy project curated a pop-up creative co-working space, or 'hub', at Wales Millennium Centre.

Creative Cardiff hub logo

Creative businesses, organisations and freelancers from different creative industries and other parts of the creative economy worked together/co-located with academics and students for a week to test the creative hub concept.

Twenty-two of the Capital Region’s creative community worked with the Creative Cardiff team and its partners from Wales Millennium Centre and The Watershed, Bristol, to create and test a new, open and supportive workspace.

The hub's participants came from across the creative economy, and included developers and technologists, a TV producer, a jewellery maker, designers, a publisher, managers from arts organsisations, and artists.

What it offered

Over the week, the hub provided:

  • free workspace with dedicated time to work
  • the opportunity to meet people from across the creative economy
  • a space to share knowledge, ideas and skills
  • a diverse programme of morning talks and workshops
  • wifi, printer, refreshments, meeting space, and group lunches on some days

The Creative Cardiff team wanted to encourage an environment in which people shared, talked and supported one another, but also realised that participants needed to get on with their regular work. The programme of activity was designed to reflect this, allowing for approximately 75% of time in the hub to be for participants' own work.

Over the week participants were consulted on their ideas, needs and challenges to inform the development of a more permanent hub space. Creative Cardiff employed an undergraduate student through the University's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (CUROP) to capture the community's views. Over the course of the week, she also blogged about her reflections on creative hubs.

How it went

Observations on hub life included:

  • Three quarters of the community had never been in a hub before.
  • Having a mix of disciplines worked, but makers needs require specific consideration.
  • The ‘corporate’ space of the Millennium Centre may have had an impact on people waiting for permission to change things and make the space their own.
  • No-one sat on their own, and people started to connect throughout the course of the week.
  • There is a role for a 'creative producer' in connecting the people in the room with one another.

Creative Cardiff continues to develop resources for creatives interested in creative hubs and co-working spaces, and in September 2016 hosted a 'Show & Tell' session with the founders of three local co-working spaces: Rabble Studio, Tramshed Tech, and The Sustainable Studio. The project's CUROP student has also chosen to focus her undergraduate dissertation on creative hubs.

Contact information

For further information about the pop-up hub, please contact creativecardiff@cardiff.ac.uk.