Beginning of building work for
'The National Centre For Popular Music'
in Sheffield


Builders get stuck in at site of city's new 15 million pound pop music showpiece

Article by David Dunn and Andy Waple

A team of workmen has begun to make the earth move for Sheffield's 15million pound National Centre for Popular Music

Heaven 17's Martyn Ware got into the driving seat to officially kick off the construction of the city's brightest project in the Cultural Industries Quarter.

And today a host of local pop stars were turning out to help the diggers rolling.

Local heroes, including ABC, Babybird and Heaven 17 are contributing handwritten and signed lyrics to the centre's planned 'Art of Words' collection. Recent chart-toppers Olive also helped commemorate the start of work.

Martyn Ware enters a digger

Rocks and roll:
Heaven 17s
Martyn Ware
prepares to start
the first digger

Musician and producer Martyn Ware, who is looking to move back to Sheffield from London, said: "I am proud to be part of Sheffield's music scene and proud of this project. There is no reason the centre should not be here. We should not feel apologetic about it: the majority of pop comes from the North of England. It's a fantastic idea - an exhibition centre that appreciates and celebrates the most popular artform in the world has been long overdue. It will allow everyone access to an unprecedented depth and breadth of information, and let's not underestimate how important music in all its forms is to everyone of all races and ages. And the building's a gas !"

The celebrity launch came as more funding was confirmed by regeneration agency English Partnerships. It is giving a 1 million pound investment to the Paternoster Row centre.

The centre's chief executive Stuart Rogers said: "Up until now we have been talking about it and people have been believing us. Now there's something physical happening for the first time."

Article published October 1997