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Last Updated: Friday, 26 March, 2004, 07:55 GMT
New life for doomed pop centre
Former pop centre
The centre went bust after failing to attract enough visitors
Plans to transform the failed National Centre for Popular Music in Sheffield into a venue for students have been aproved.

The steel-domed building closed as an attraction in 1999, due to low visitor numbers, wasting 11m of lottery money.

Sheffield Hallam University was given planning permission on Friday to turn the building in Brown Street into its main student union venue.

The proposals include bars, a stage for bands and conference facilities.

Public access

The university bought the building last year from regional devlopment agency Yorkshire Forward for 1.85m.

It plans to relocate its School of Cultural Studies, currently based at Psalter Lane, into a brand new building on the site of the current students' union.

Critics of the university takeover had claimed the deal would mean the building would no longer be open to the public.

But the students' union plans to run a full programme of events which will be open for anyone to attend.

It also wants to develop the building into a small and medium-sized venue which could be hired by groups in Sheffield to stage their own shows.

In February, the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee said the lottery money wasted on the National Centre for Popular Music had denied cash to other good causes.


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