Soft Ground Open Invitation

A large space with white walls with one corner painted orange has tables and chairs in various areas. Windows letting in natural light can be seen at the far end of the vast space.
Soft Ground main space
A corner of a white room has two tall natural plywood bookcases with some books and magazines and plants on the shelves. On the left hand wall there is a row of windows letting in natural light. In the foreground are some white tables cut in curvy shapes.
Reading Area at Soft Ground
A large table surrounded by fold out chairs is set in the centre of an alcove surrounded by a tall natural plywood bookcase with empty shelves. The walls are painted neutrally and the floor is grey.
Soft Ground Meeting Space
The main space at Soft Ground seen on entering the space. The large space has white columns running through it and a white wall partition at one end with dark curtains either side. On the ceiling one concrete truss is painted orange. A clear polyethylene wall can be seen on the left hand side letting light through, and on the right is a tall pale wooden bookcase.
Event Space at Soft Ground
In a large neutrally painted space with concrete floor two white pillars can be seen in the middle of the space dividing up an area that has a collection of curvy white tables and fold out chairs huddled together. On the right hand side a tall natural plywood bookcase can be seen.
Meeting and exhibition space at Soft Ground
A corner of a large room painted white has a cosy nook with wood and cork seating banks placed underneath some large windows. A wooden trestle table is in the corner beside one seating bank and curving white tables further to the right.
Soft Ground Entrance Area
 A small shop front has a large window with an open doorway to the left. On the window white curving lines to look like tree roots flow downwards with the names of different organisations stacked on top of one another in handwritten text. The white sign above the window has the words ‘Soft Ground’ in black outline with buildings growing above the words and roots pushing down beneath the text. Inside, a staircase can be seen to the left and a silver lift door to the right.
Soft Ground Street Entrance

Soft Ground is a free to access public space for learning, shared by creative charity and not for profit organisations who advocate for social change through arts and community practices.

These include Arts Catalyst, Andro and Eve, Bloc Projects, Chol Theatre and Migration Matters Festival

It has been set up on a temporary basis for charities and community groups to host meetings, events and creative activities as well as providing a resource space in the city centre.

This winter, we’re inviting creative charities and not for profit organisations active in South Yorkshire who advocate for social change to use Soft Ground for their activities, meetings, workshops, exhibitions and events. 

Soft Ground is on the Moor in Sheffield city centre. It is on the first floor of a building with lift access. It also has: 
 
  • Disabled toilet
  • Free Wifi
  • Kitchen for non public use with microwave, sink and kettle
  • Reading / Meeting Area 
  • Exhibition and Event Space 
  • Seating Area with tables
At the moment we are limiting capacity to 20 people per member of staff and a maximum
capacity of 50, but we hope to be able to increase this once the space is more equipped.
 
Any organisations interested in using the space just need to fill in a short Google Form so we can find out about your organisation or group’s purpose and what you’d like to use the space for. This invitation is only open to organisations or groups, not individuals. 
 
Soft Ground is offered to hire on a donation basis - we don’t expect everyone to be able to have the funds to pay, but if you can, we do ask you to make a donation to support the running costs of the building. 
 
Any organisations wishing to use the space for public facing activity should have their own public liability insurance, and need to present completed risk assessments as a condition of hire. 
 
If you are looking for space to host an activity, workshop, exhibition or event between 7th November 2022 - 1st February 2023 then please complete the Google Form to express your interest. We will then be in touch to confirm whether we have capacity and to show you round if that's useful. 

FAQ's

We've developed this set of questions in response to some enquiries we've had and to help you decide if Soft Ground is the best space for you to hire. 

 
Can I hire the space on a regular / weekly basis?
This may not always be possible, owing to the previous bookings from our partner organisations we share the space with. 
 
When can I hire Soft Ground?
Monday - Sunday, between 8.30am - 9pm.
Arts Catalyst Office hours are between 9am - 6pm. 
 
How much does it cost to hire Soft Ground?
If you would like to use the space for public events we would like to ask for a suggested donation between £10 to £150 per event or per day if it is an exhibition. If you do not have a budget to accommodate the minimum amount this is not an issue. Any donations will go towards the maintenance and improvement of Soft Ground.
 
Why do I need to complete the Google Form? Can I not just send an email or DM? 
This offer is only open to groups and organisations, not individuals and we expect a high demand. Therefore to streamline the process of organising the room hires, getting the basic info from you, in a way that is accessible to our team, is really helpful. 
 
How big is Soft Ground? 
The main hirable space is approx. 13m x 11m (143sqm), with two columns in the middle of the room. These can be used to divide the space (with curtains) so smaller spaces are created. The open meeting / resource space, which is handy for smaller workshops, can accommodate up to 10 people and is 5m x 5m.
 
What is the capacity of the space? 
During office hours (Monday - Thursday 9am - 5.30pm), we recommend a maximum capacity of 20 people. Outside of office hours, we suggest a maximum 80 person capacity for the entire main space for one off events, we would recommend that you have a member of staff/volunteer available for every 25 people who are in the space.
 
What bits of the space can I hire? 
All of the first floor is available to hire, and you can use the kitchen to make drinks / prepare snacks. However the office space on the first floor and all of the second floor is closed to the public.
 
My event will be noisy, when can I use the space? 
Soft Ground is used by various organisations as office space between the hours of 9am - 5.30pm Monday - Thursday. Therefore we are unable to accommodate bookings where lots of noisy activity will take place during these times (e.g. exhibitions with a soundtrack, live music or large groups). Please get in touch to discuss this kind of use outside these days/times. 
 
I need quiet space - is Soft Ground suitable? 
As before, Soft Ground is used by various organisations as office space between the hours of 9am - 5.30pm Monday - Thursday. This means there are people walking through the space. We are also on The Moor, which often has live buskers during the day. The building is not soundproofed so when there is loud noise on the street outside it can be heard in the building.
 
Is there central heating at Soft Ground?
As a ‘meanwhile use’ space, central heating is not in place at Soft Ground. However, we have some electric heaters. We would not recommend hosting seated activities for the public for longer than 2-3 hours to prevent stiffness or risk of cold exposure.
 
Can I sell alcohol at my event at Soft Ground?
The sale of alcohol is not permitted within Soft Ground. There is a no smoking policy throughout the building.
 
What do I need to have in place to hire Soft Ground?
We expect all groups and organisations wanting to hire the space for a public event to present evidence of:
1. Insurance details / Public Liability documents
2. Risk assessment
3. Method Statement
 
What happens with rubbish at Soft Ground?
We ask everyone to remove any food waste when leaving the building - but dry waste like paper or plastic can be left in bin bags by the bins in the main space for removal.
 
Can I bring my pet to Soft Ground?
Pets are not permitted at Soft Ground in order to help make the space work for multiple groups and partners in the space, however guide / support dogs are very welcome. 
 
If there’s a question we’ve not answered, feel free to pop it in the ‘any other comments’ section of the Google enquiry form.