Tuesday, October 15, 2019

News: Enterprising way to bring new Grimm products to life


Grimm & Co, Rotherham's literary charity, has launched a kickstarter appeal to bring to life a game created by its Saturday club children.

Based in Rotherham town centre the Apothecary to the Magical sells wild schemes, evil plots, charms, curses and kitchenware. Above the shop, the Yorkshire charity runs innovative storytelling and writing workshops for children in the local area, to unleash their imaginations and build confidence, self-respect and communication skills.

A group of 19 young people aged 9-11 have created a hilariously original story-telling game, full of prodigious prompts to unleash the players' imagination and get participants' creativity cogs spinning. Grimm & Co now want to bring this to life, and need the help and support of the public to raise the £5,000 needed to do this.

Kickstarter exists to help enterprising artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers, and other creators find the resources and support they need to make their ideas a reality.


Twists and Tales will contain 200 unique cards, each featuring an original and unusual creative idea created by the game's young makers, with characters such as Fiona (a multilingual toilet door who's unfortunately unable to use her linguistic talents) and Alex (an invisible 41 year old piece of chewing gum who is aging backwards), and plots that include two pieces of luggage falling in love in an airport, but getting separated on the conveyor belt, and a squirrel thief stealing a precious magical artefact. These cards come in four different categories: characters; settings; objects; and story starters, and can be used to create the most amazing stories in a huge variety of ways.

The children and young people who created the game have designed it to be played in a huge variety of ways: by yourself or with others; competitively or collaboratively; by telling stories out loud, or by writing or drawing them. Their aim was to make Twists and Tales accessible to as many different people as possible, taking the scariness out of having to come up with stories on the spot and enabling anyone to be able to spin a tall tale!

Louise Treloar, communications coordinator at Grimm and Co said: "The children have worked so hard on this project and are desperate to see it made into a real game. As a magical apothecary, we really want to help them make this dream come true.

"Our kickstarter appeal has already raised over £3,000 and we now need our very kind supporters and the public to help. Just a few pounds will make a real difference."

Elliott, one of the creators of Twists and Tales, added: "It's pretty epic and you can make cool stories," whilst co-creator William said: "We have worked hard on our game and we have used OUR imagination."

Edith, another game creator, said: "This game is important to me because it is a game that I have helped to create, it is not just a game that I know how to play.  It is a game that I helped to create which makes it special"

The Kickstarter appeal includes quirky rewards thought up by the children and young people in the workshops.

Grimm & Co website

Images: Grimm & Co


News: New contracts policy aims to keep it local in Rotherham


Rotherham Council has developed a new policy to ensure that more of its £300m annual spend is kept within the local economy, supporting Rotherham businesses and creating jobs in the borough.

The new Social Value policy aims to ensure that when the Council is buying goods and services, suppliers are encouraged to spend locally, employ Rotherham people, and work towards paying at least the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Living Wage.

If the plan is adopted, every contract the Council tenders with a value of £100,000 or over will be scored as to how it delivers real and sustainable social value.

It borrows from the "Preston model" where local spend in the Lancashire city from anchor institutions rose from 5% to 18.2%. Preston City Council now spends 28% with Preston-based businesses (2016) as opposed to 14% in 2012.

Alongside the cost and quality of a bid, the proposed social value will help to determine who is awarded a contract. Social value could take the form of good local jobs and skills development for local people, equality of opportunity, strengthened and sustainable community and voluntary sector organisations, keeping spend in the local supply chain and greater environmental sustainability.


The Social Value commitment will account for 20% of the overall score for the tender bid and the Council said it will produce a public annual report each year on the Social Value that has been achieved.

For lower value contracts, it is proposed that the Council will ensure, when quotes are invited, at least one will be from the local area, to give local business more opportunities to win those contracts.

The policy also sets out an objective that, wherever possible, the Council will also commit to co-designing services, using the knowledge, experience and expertise of local people and organisations to make the best use of local assets. It is proposed that a Social Value Charter is developed with partners, encouraging organisations to commit to increased Social Value.

Cllr. Chris Read, Leader of Rotherham Council, said: "We have already seen in other parts of the country how councils can choose to spend more wisely, keeping more money in the local economy, encouraging suppliers to pay the real Living Wage and creating local job and training opportunities.

"For the first time, we are setting out a formal, measurable approach to ensure that council taxpayer’s money helps to make our local economy stronger, fairer and more environmentally friendly."

RMBC procurement website

Images: RMBC


News: Rotherham students get their design fix


University Centre Rotherham Graphic Design students have been tasked with an exciting project by a successful graduate and founder of The Design Fix.

Graduate Amy Kilner visited the £12m town centre campus and met with foundation degree students to share her experiences of working as a creative lead at design agency, Hotshot. She is also the founder of The Design Fix – an online community of over 50,000 followers using the hashtag #thedesignfix to highlight how creativity inspires them as designers. The hashtag has been used 150,000 times so far whilst The Design Fix has been featured across blogs and stories 2,000 times.

Amy studied a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Graphic Design Communication Design (Top-up) at University Centre Rotherham and completed her course in summer 2019.

A brief was provided by Amy to the students on The Design Fix-led project titled Positive Creativity. This project is aimed at highlighting the benefits of online users sharing their work digitally and via social media, with wide-ranging opportunities such as references, constructive feedback, networking and the possibility of beginning new adventures and journeys for the budding Graphic Design students.

Tasked with creating artwork which communicates positive aspects of sharing work online, the Graphic Design students have been provided free reign to use their creativity in crafting exciting and relevant visuals.

As part of The Design Fix's participation in student award series The NeXt Big Thing Awards, the chosen finalists will be shared across all of The Design Fix's platforms for its thriving online community to see and share their thoughts on. Three finalists will receive a one year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.


Amy said: "The whole idea is for the students to use their creative expression to highlight how to use social media in a positive light – especially when sharing work.

"You have to like what you do otherwise there's no point; that's why the learners have chosen this course and this project is a good outlet for them to share their passion."

Graphic Design Foundation Degree Year 2 student Jack Reavey was one of the class of University Centre Rotherham students Amy provided the project brief to.

Jack said: "The project is an advertising campaign celebrating positivity in creativity and encourages people to post on social media whom may have previously not wanted to in fear of negative comments. It seems a good idea for people to engage with social media and put their work out there – there are decent people online who may pick up on this.

"I want to approach this with typography. Words just behave all the time! They're versatile and never get grainy. I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do."

Graphic Design Lecturer Tracy Gelder was present for the project brief and previously taught Amy when she was an aspiring Graphic Design student.

Tracy said: "For our students, this year is all about design work with work-based employers. The students now have the liberty to work with live clients. For example, Amy's visit is a wonderful opportunity for them to ask questions and delve in to how things are changing in the workplace.

"It's a brilliant chance for them to get ready to hit the ground running when out in the wider world."

Hotshot Creative Agency website
Design Fix website
UCR website

Images: UCR


Friday, October 11, 2019

News: Rothbiz offers membership opportunities


Rotherham Business News is offering businesses and organisations the opportunity to support the website and the continued promotion of Rotherham, at the same time as raising their profile within the local business community.

Rothbiz is established as the website that brings together positive news regarding businesses, enterprise, commercial property, regeneration, key developments and the economy in Rotherham.

The site exists to promote Rotherham as a business location by using stories about the enterprising, innovative, proud, and world-renowned businesses that are based here.

A membership programme has been designed to enable businesses to show their support and feature on the site at the same time.


The website launched in 2007 and has been growing ever since. It now has well over 6,000 subscribers and followers and receives 20,000 pageviews each month.

Tom Austen, founder and editor of Rotherham Business News, said: "If you have had coverage on Rothbiz, gained leads and business from reading the site, like our positive approach to talking up the borough and its businesses, want to raise the profile of your business or organisation, or just like being kept up to date with the latest news, Rothbiz is looking for members to get involved and help us to continue to grow.

"Different levels based on different budgets offer you the opportunity to be featured on the website and with your backing, Rothbiz will continue to publish articles each week focusing on positive stories about amazing Rotherham businesses.

"You will help us give Rotherham the positive coverage it deserves, raise the profile of Rotherham, change the perceptions of Rotherham and encourage Rotherham companies to recognise opportunities for collaboration, growth and business development."

Membership starts from just £10 a month.

Find out more information and become a member here.

Images: Rothbiz


Thursday, October 10, 2019

News: Willmott Dixon working on Rotherham town centre housing schemes


Willmott Dixon is the contractor partner for Rotherham Council as the authority progresses ambitious proposals for new town centre housing.

Rothbiz reported first that plans had finally been submitted for a range of new properties on sites across the town centre owned by the Council. These include the site of the former Sheffield Road baths, Millfold House on Sheffield Road and the former Henley's garage on Wellgate.

The plans would build 171 brand new homes in a range of ownership models from new council rent properties, shared ownership homes and new homes for market sale. 123 (72%) are classed as affordable housing.

Cabinet papers show that Rotherham Council will be funding these works from its Housing Revenue Account (HRA) but a bid for grant funding from Homes England's Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme (SOAHP) is being submitted. The Council is also close to securing £3.9m from the Sheffield City Region (SCR) Housing Fund.


As part of a collaborative, two-stage process, the Council entered into a Professional Services Contract with Willmott Dixon last year to work up designs to planning application stage. The firm, which built the University Campus Rotherham, has now submitted a final price and, subject to further detailed scrutiny of that price, a contract is set to be awarded to physically construct the housing scheme.

Cllr. Dominic Beck, Cabinet Member for Housing at Rotherham Council, said: "In Rotherham, we should be rightly proud that we have a Labour Council that is delivering on the biggest council house building programme in our borough for a generation.

"We have now published our exciting proposals for new housing sites right in the heart of our town centre. These radical plans will contribute to our wider efforts to regenerate Rotherham town centre."

Partners have a draft timetable with work starting on site by March 2020 and completions by March 2022.

Last year, Rotherham Council committed £50m over the next three years to build homes and have launched its Rother Living brand.

Willmott Dixon website
Rother Living website

Images: Bond Bryan / Rotherham Labour

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