Moseley CDT gets £300k overhaul

Moseley%20Community%20Development%20Trust%20(CDT)%20-%20Organisation%20Chart%202006-07At the Moseley Creative Forum meeting last night (at which I was on the panel) the chair, Steve Harding, mentioned that the Community Development Trust which owns/runs the building had secured £300,000 of funding to completely renovate the main ground floor space. What was interesting was what they intend to do with it. After the event (which I think went rather well – I’d encourage Moseley creative types to go) I had a quick chat with the CDT manager Tony Thapar and jotted down some notes. Bear in mind I’m blogging this before they’ve made an official announcement so I might have gotten some of the finer details wrong, but the general gist I’m comfortable with.

Firstly, the money hasn’t just been handed to them by some quango. This has been a long process gathering funds from a variety of places including local donations. The final chunk came from the European Regional Development pot the 6 month application process for which was apparently a nightmare. So I’m guessing this has been fairly well thought through.

The basic plan is to offer a “third space” for freelancers and home workers, the majority of whom in Moseley tend to be in the creative industries. Facilities will include internet access, desk space, secure lockers and the ability to hire the upstairs rooms for meetings and presentations.

More importantly the space will enable folk to mix and network giving the creative community a base which isn’t a pub/cafe or someone’s kitchen. Essentially they’re looking at developing a Co-working space, something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently.

At its heart is a desire to provide something the community can use that will keep people in the area rather than forcing them to go to Digbeth or the Jewellery Quarter, especially for those just starting out or who don’t need a city centre office. There’s also, due to the concentration of SMEs, the opportunity for the business support orgs to use it as an outreach / info spot. And Tony was also keen to stress how the centre could be used to “bridge the digital divide” by providing computer-based tools and skills to those who feel left behind by all the nonsense the likes of me spout.

The beauty of this, as I see it, is that it’s not very prescriptive. There’s a space with facilities that people can use as they see fit. Of course making sure the basic facilities are suitable is the most important thing so I hope they’ll be using all the tools available to get this right. A blog or similar detailing the plans and facilitating feedback at the very least.

But yeah, I’m usually quite cynical about such things but this looks like a good un. Moseley-types – go get involved.


  1. I think it is also worth noting that the Moseley Creative Forum is not exclusively for Moseley folk – just easier to get there if you live within walking distance.

    – Pete, we briefly met last night and you asked me to remind you of a blog meet up.

  2. Pete – the author isn’t showing up on the individual blog post page so with all of the new bloggers it could get confusing.

    This sounds interesting, although if they make as much a hash out of this as our ‘who are these muppets’ experience of dealing with them with the ‘creative’ part of the farmers market I don’t hold much hope.

  3. With regards to Stef’s comments on the ‘creative’ part of the farmers market, true, in the past it was becoming ever more difficult for the CDT to run the Arts Market effectively with no guarantee of the number of stalls available from the farmers and various contacts in the CDT office dealing with enquiries, however it is now coordinated by myself, a regular trader on the market and single point of contact for all enquiries. Due to the number of traders wishing to trade at the market I have encouraged the CDT to hire 15 stalls every monthy for the rest of the year (bar the June Street Festival and our November Christmas Special where we will book 25, meaning we can now book traders in well in advance, ensuring new artist get a go and the market continues for those of us who have been trading at it for the last year or so. We now set up on the other side of the road from the farmers, establishing ourselves as a seperate market and giving ourselves our own identity. We are now in the position to advertise the Arts Market as a monthly event, confident that it will go ahead and that there will be sufficient quality makers selling a diverserange of goods.

    If you wish to apply please email or download an application form from the Moseley CDT Arts Market page. I can only assume that if Stef was hoping to trade at the market, she enquired quite some time ago and hope that I have now restored her hope. If not, perhaps a visit to our first market of the year, tomorrow, Saturday 22nd March will change her mind.

  4. chai wallah

    I’m not sure if you can see (as I can’t see it here, but can in RSS) but you’ve been tagspammed!

  5. What I want to know is… when will the combined forces of Moseley marketeers make a deal w current owner to use the Meteor garage as an extension of the village green? Art market, festival annex, performance space, …

  6. ls

    dp – Meteor garage is going to be supermarket / gp surgery but it would be good if it could be used as you suggested in the meantime

    Jamie Lewis – oh dear, oh dear, Stef is a he and built like a brick ****house!

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