What exactly is CADS?

CADS Works Courtyard - Credit Rob Lee

CADS Works Courtyard – Credit Rob Lee

Steve Rimmer set up CADS in 2009. Since then it has been developing and transforming into a frontrunner in Sheffield’s creative sector. With its headquarters in a cutlery factory, CADS now provides 86 studios across 6 Sheffield buildings. Steve’s brother Paul joined the team as finance manager, and his sister, Claire, as administrator and marketing manager. CADS has charitable status thanks to providing affordable space to people regardless of their social or economic circumstances. And with their external partners they provide support for needy communities including therapeutic art workshops for drug and alcohol dependency issues, learning difficulties, depression and chronic illness. Also, the main space in Smithfield became synonymous with the city’s underground party scene; The Night Kitchen and Dirty Little Secret brought some of the best UK artists to Sheffield.

For TSOTA, Michael Costen and Jack Shillito interviewed two members of the CADS team – Dan and Kiran – while they visited Art Works. Michael is 53, with mild learning disabilities, and enjoys playing music. Jack Shillitto is 23 and has cystic fibrosis. He’s full of life and a whizz on the computer. He is head to toe in tattoos.

Michael Costen

Michael Costen

Michael – What does CADS stand for, is it cats and dogs?

Dan – No it doesn’t stand for cats and dogs. It stands for Creative Arts Development Space.

Jack – What is CADS?

Dan – CADS is a collection of Art Studio buildings. We also have events space, spaces for hire and we do a few creative things.

Jack – How long have you been running?

Dan – We have been running since 2010, that’s six years now! It was quite a small thing but we now have quite a lot of buildings and we still have some of the original things that we had back then.

Michael – We see you cater for lots of different creatives, can we bring sheep in since you allow cats and dogs?

Dan – (laughs) It actually stands for cat and dog and sheep, yes you should bring a sheep in on a dog’s day.

Michael – We hear you’ve got a new events space what will it be for?

Dan – Yes, we have a new space on the Wicker. It’s mainly going to be used for housing small businesses and artists and we have some people there who do martial arts.

Jack Shillito

Jack Shillito

Jack – What’s next for CADS?

Dan – I don’t know really (laughs) basically we are always looking to expand and so we will be looking at getting more buildings and also expanding our events programme and we are hoping to get you guys to come do some work with us. It’s quite hard to think about what’s next right now.

Michael – If we come on a night out at the basement sound room will you get the beers in?

Dan – Will I get the beers in? How many? For all of you? I don’t know. I get paid by CADS but I am going to get you two a beer for this good interview.

Charlie – Is CADS is a family business?

Dan… Yes, it was established by a family. Steve is the one who founded it and his brother and sister work here as well. Those are the members of the same family who work with us, but there are more of their friends that work here too.

Page 4 - Credit-Daniel Butlin

Find out more about CADS here:


[email protected]

0114 3489 421

7 Smithfield

Sheffield S3 7AR