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To: Cardiff Council

Protect The Arts in The Arches

Protect The Arts in The Arches

We want the Cardiff Council to ensure that the vibrant arts companies based in the railway arches off John Street are allowed to continue to flourish in the context of a new redevelopment proposal for the area. We want the council to recognise the contribution that the arches have made to the cultural life of the city centre over the past 30 years, and to protect their future by requiring the developers to provide sufficient access and parking to all 6 railway arches to allow their continued use as creative spaces for music and dance.

Why is this important?

The railway arches on John Street have housed independent arts based businesses for nearly 30 years. It has been a vibrant cultural space for the nurturing of grassroots talent in music, dance, theatre and various other arts. There are few other spaces in the city centre that have this kind of thriving arts community.

Currently the arches are home to 3 independent businesses, The Cardiff Arches, Jukebox Collective and Only Drums Aloud. All 3 have been based at the arches for over 10 years. The Cardiff Arches rehearsal and recording studios provide a vital city centre resource for all Cardiff based musicians including young musicians who don’t have the transport or budget to travel to out-of-town studios. Jukebox Collective is a leading company for street dance education and performance in the UK and was recently awarded National Portfolio Organisation Status by Arts Council Wales. Only Drums Aloud has been providing award winning drum tuition to children and adults of all abilities for over 12 years at the arches, and as well as a samba band and group tuition it also double as a rehearsal space.

A recent planning application for office blocks the land adjoining the railway arches is threatening their continued use as music and dance studios by restricting the access and parking that are currently available to users of the arches. We believe that some minor changes to the proposal will allow the redevelopment to go ahead whilst retaining access and parking for all 6 studios on the row therefore allowing the arts in the area to continue to flourish.

John Street, Cardiff

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2016-09-05 14:55:42 +0100

Just a quick update to let you all know about how the campaign is going. We've had lots of support from all users of the music and dance studios and we're confident that the Council will come to understand how important these facilities are to the community. We have also had support from many local MPs, AMs and Councillors, including a number who have submitted their own written objections, which has been extremely useful.
The petitions, both this one and a paper petition, have been enough to ensure that we'll have the opportunity to speak at the Council Planning Committee meeting which will be discussing this application. We've not yet been given a date for the meeting but believe that it will be in a few weeks time.
Thanks again for your continuing support.

2016-08-09 19:03:58 +0100

The support we've been shown over the past week has been amazing! Thank you so much. To get nearly 3000 signatures in such a short space of time is incredible, and will really help us to demonstrate how important it is to keep facilities like this in the city centre. There have also been a large number of written objections against the plans lodged on the Council website. If you'd like to have a look, or write your own objection, you can find everything here:

2016-08-03 15:48:47 +0100

Over 1000 signatures already!! Thanks so much to you all for your support. It's brilliant to know how important the arches are to so many people. Please continue to spread the word however you can.
I want to emphasise that none of our businesses are closing down any time soon. This is bound to be a long consultation process during which it's really important that we make ourselves heard. Even if in the worst case scenario at the end of the planning process, if the developers are allowed to get away with forcing us out, we would need to be given at least 6 months notice to leave, so we'll be here for a while yet!

2016-08-03 15:27:55 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2016-08-02 21:14:14 +0100

500 signatures reached

2016-08-02 17:43:22 +0100

100 signatures reached

2016-08-02 17:09:32 +0100

50 signatures reached

2016-08-02 16:55:04 +0100

25 signatures reached

2016-08-02 16:44:43 +0100

10 signatures reached