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New pocket park to bring music to city centre

People play large musical instruments in the city centre.

A new pocket park in Sheffield city centre pays homage to the city’s musical greats and will inspire the next generation to get on their dancing shoes.

The new park, which is on Charter Square between the Light Cinema and Furnace restaurant, will encourage creativity with more than ten instruments for visitors to try which are inclusive for all ages. To inspire players, plaques commemorating Sheffield’s musical superstars will be added to the park in the future to share stories about musicians who developed their skills locally before becoming famous and giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the legends that gave the city its musical reputation.

The park has been fitted out with special instruments designed to be used in the open air. The eleven instruments include three xylophones, four drums, and four tubular bells.

The idea for the park was developed by ChangingSheff and the project has been delivered by the City Council. ChangingShef is a residents’ association which represents 27,000 city centre residents. The group hopes to create a musical community around the park and for the space to attract local residents and music loving visitors alike. In the longer term, the group hopes the park will be used for gigs and recitals.

ChangingSheff is looking for musicians or fans to support the park by dedicating an instrument. It is hoped that some of the famous musical names from Sheffield will either dedicate an instrument or the fans will dedicate an instrument to their favourite band or musician. The money raised will pay for the costs involved in promotion, tuition and community development of the park.

Councillor Ben Miskell, Chair of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Committee, said: “Sheffield has a rich and diverse musical history, with the city producing some of the world’s most successful rockstars. The new pocket park will give locals and tourists the opportunity to flex their musical muscles right in the middle of the city centre, encouraging visitors to the city.

“Creating opportunities to rest and play are crucial to developing a city centre that is welcoming to all communities. I’d like to thank ChangingSheff for all their hard work and dedication in planning the musical pocket park and working in partnership with City Council to see it delivered. This valuable new space will provide a musical haven in the centre of a city that has music running through its veins.”

Peter Sephton, Chair of ChangingSheff said:

“This has been a five-year project to complete stage one – a musical feature in the heart of the city centre. The second stage is to see if the famous Sheffield homespun musicians and their fans will sponsor and dedicate instruments. The third stage is to use these funds to teach people how to play the instruments to the point at which they can make good music to entertain an audience.

“We are grateful for the Council’s support in achieving this new feature for all to enjoy. It is unusual in being capable of producing good music from a group of 11 musicians in the open air but these instruments have been tuned to concert pitch to ensure pitch-perfect performances.

“We need sponsors to dedicate each instrument to a band, a musician, their fans or someone relevant to their success, so we can use this income to teach people how to play and develop new uses for the pocket park. We hope that some of Sheffield’s famous musicians, who are listed in the park, might support this idea.

“Stage three will be an interesting challenge - to get an open-air music school operating that can produce new musicians to entertain the public in lunchtime concerts and other forms of musical entertainment. This could kick-start the next generation of Sheffield stars. I urge anyone interested in this supporting this challenge to contact ChanginSheff.”

The musical pocket park opened on the same day as the dedication of Pound’s Park, a new city centre park on the corner of Wellington Street and Rockingham Street. The dedication ceremony was attended by representatives from the council and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.

The musical pocket park is now open on Charter Square. If you are interested in dedicating an instrument, please email