The Story...so far!
Jonny and Pennie first discussed their vision for their project with John Mothersole, CEO of Sheffield City Council back in 2012. John instructed the property department to work with them to find a suitable location. Initially they were shown a number of buildings, but none of them quite worked as appropriate locations or had the right mix of potential resources. They then began to make inquiries about Mount Pleasant in September 2013 as it was an ideal location and Jonny had been a 'guardian' there from February 2012.
To cut a looooong story short, over the next 3 years with help from Nigel Slack, Pennie and Jonny made several approaches and a number of challenges to the Council to ensure that the site was not given away to be developed into a luxury retirement village and was put back on the market for an open and fair bidding process.
In redeveloping and regenerating Mt. Pleasant they are working to bring back the thriving heart of the surrounding communities of Sharrow, Netheredge, Meersbrook, Little Sheffield...connecting London Road through Mount Peasant Park to Abbeydale Road.
"A new way to live, work, play and learn together"
Jonny Douglas and penniie raven | Co-Founders
Avenues to Zero
Creating a new way to live, work, play and learn together.
Our project will bring the glorious heritage asset that is the Grade II* listed Georgian mansion Mount Pleasant ( a Community Centre in it's most recent previous life), its old Stable block, the old Victorian Highfield Special School and its surrounding grounds back to life and make it a co-living, co-working centre for collaborative engagement in an active environment for everyone.
We will have 200+ residents living in a range of affordable shared and private spaces suitable for the whole spectrum of life stages, from families to young adults and through to retirement age. All surrounded by and with access to hotdesk, shared- and private- office, workshop and studio work spaces to support every stage of start-ups, enterprises and freelances through to their initial stages of growth.
This will be supported by events, activities, courses and training that everyone can access...and resourced with great tech, a fab-lab, local experts; connecting to the existing initiatives in the area and new projects.
All the activities that happen in, around and connected to the site and existing local projects will work on 6 overlapping ‘Avenues’, each focused on tackling the real issues we face. These Avenues will be the catalysts to fuel projects that will bring people together around the common challenges we all face, allowing everyone from any backgrounds or walk of life that live near by or further away to get involved.
Housing is a huge issue in the UK...we need to find and test how people of all ages and life points can coexist and support each other.
Exploring and better understanding the issues we face with agriculture and food, teaching people about nutrition, health and how to grow their own food.
Skills + Enterprise avenue
The world of work is changing and we need to build and adapt ways that will enable people to create opportunities and jobs to sustain and support themselves and their families.
HEalth + wellbeing Avenue
Working with partners ShipShape we will be ensuring they can continue their vital work from the site as well as developing ways to improve social care and combat loneliness; reaching out to disengaged and isolated members of the community.
Our overarching Avenue, focused on how we get as close to zero impact as possible. Finding practical implementable ways to complete the circle and tackle climate change locally so that we can have a positive effect globally.
Our energy needs and its security is more important than ever we need to find better ways to generate it, help each other understand how we make savings and think about new ways to use and store it.