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It may come as a surprise to you, but nestled behind Pelham Street, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, is a hidden courtyard. Cobden Chambers had been locked away for nearly 20 years, like The Secret Garden, or perhaps Narnia, just waiting to be brought back to life. In August 2013, that is exactly what Bildurn decided to do.

The Chambers has a fascinating history; in the 1800s it was used as a photographer’s studio, as a base for the Nottingham Society of Artists between 1895-1912 and it was even the registered office for Notts County Football Club in 1890. In the 1970s it was the editing house of Platform, a monthly arts magazine for the Midlands. It is clear that the buildings have creativity in their bones.

So Bildurn set about cutting back the wilderness, revealing the most amazingly peaceful suntrap of a courtyard. The surrounding buildings seemed to sigh with relief as they were once more given the room to breathe, but they were not out of the woods yet. Years of neglect had left them with floors missing, dangerous electrics, and a large amount of unwanted residents of the pigeon variety. Time really had taken its toll, and the buildings were in need of rescuing

7 months of hard work and collaboration, alongside a real vision for the huge potential this once forgotten part of Nottingham held, transformed it into a truly unique, beautiful, space. The walls have been given new life with washes of pale pastels, inky greys and bespoke artwork, the courtyard has become an inviting space to snatch a moment or two of tranquillity in the midst of a busy city, and The Terraces are now home to some of the most exiting independent designers and makers in the county.

Cobden Chambers is ready for the next chapter in its book, and it looks as though the most exciting parts haven’t even been written yet…

But we couldn’t have done it alone; the most rewarding part of the whole journey so far has been the fantastic people we have got to work with. This is not an exhaustive list…

  • Adrian Hayes
  • Allen Signs
  • APH Electrics
  • Creative Quarter Company
  • DJI
  • DHP Family
  • Fuse Design
  • Hosta Consulting
  • Nottingham City Council
  • Small Kid
  • Stephen Maxwell
  • Stone Soup Project

The location is fantastic; it’s exciting to be surrounded by creative businesses. Another appealing element for K-Nit is the communal unit that brings together all the Cobden businesses. Cobden is a great opportunity to get local presence.K-nit
The aesthetic and vision for the courtyard is great. Cobden Chambers is just what Nottingham needs, it’s in a fantastic location and offers real opportunity for new and independent businesses.Keishi Jewellery
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