Portland Works

Randall Street   Sheffield   S2 4SJ   England

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Saturday, 23rd August 2014

Latest news

Our volunteer team has grown to around 15 regulars - and we are busy finishing the 1st floor workshops ready for letting in the next month or so.  If you'd like to join us, email info@portlandworks.co.uk

Our latest University 'Live Project' started at the end of September - a dozen or so post-graduate students will be in and around the Works for the next six weeks. See their work on 'Stories of Change'  and on their website 

AGM was on 24th September.  You can download our  Annual Report here

Over 160 visitors came to our Open Day on Sunday 14 September and enjoyed seeing the improvements, meeting tenants, buying Mosley cutlery and eating great cakes!See what 'Our Favourite Places' says about us, reviewing the Cutlery Fair in June

Look - artists at work at Portland Works - part of the Ruskin trusts initiatives across the city

We are delighted to publish our new, 2014, Business Plan which sees the project through the next few years.  Plenty of detail there but it's also a surprisingly good read - try the summary near the front for a flavour.

If you'd like to become  a shareholder, see the Fundraising page

Cutlery Fair 29th June a roaring success! 

We were delighted and amazed at the turnout and enthusiasm for our first Cutlery and Craft fair at the Works. Over 600 people came to sample the wares on sale and explore the building. We had a fascinating mix of stalls, with goods ranging from tiny mother-of-pearl handled teaspoons to sculpture and jewellery made from cutlery. By midday the courtyard was thronged with people – there was a great atmosphere and plenty to see with demonstrations of forging, carving in stone, painting in watercolours and spinning wool, giving visitors an opportunity to watch and ask questions.

Altogether the day generated over £2,500 towards the repair of the building. We will put this to immediate use, buying materials for the renovation of several workshops at the front of the building.

We are hoping to make this an annual event in the Portland Works calendar. MORE ON FACEBOOK

Can you help us reach our fundraising target of £26,000 this year?  See Fundraising page 

See our latest Newsletter - Newsletter page

Two useful links - firstly Julian Dobson blog on Portland Works - the March of the Makers - and next, a fascinating history article on the Works by historian Geoff Tweedale, whose Directory of Sheffield Cutlery, an essential read for anyone interested in Sheffield's heritage and present day cutlery manufacturing and now in its second edtion, is also reviewed on the same site.  It's an American site, and very passionate about the 'Old World' (thats Europe!) heritage of craftwork.

Work in progress, Feb 2014

New photo album in our Gallery page - on the renovation works being done partly by contractors, partly by our small but enthusiastic team of volunteers.  This only covers some of the many tasks completed in our first year of ownership.  Would you like to come down and help? Get in touch......

Derek Morton

Friday, 6th December 2013

Heritage Alliance Heroes Award

We were proud to collect the Heritage Alliance's 'Heroes' award for 2013! Nikky, Derek, Stuart and Julia travelled to London to collect the award at the Alliances AGM at the Royal Geographical Society on 5 December.  

photo Heritage Alliance

Derek gave a presentation on behalf of us all, to representatives of all the major heritage organisations, we made lots of useful contacts and had a pretty good celebration of our work!  It was a happy ride on the train home.

photo-Heritage Alliance

Naturally we're delighted to have been recognised in this way and for our project to be seen as a leading example of community and volunteer action.

See us also in the 12 December Sheffield Telegraph.  

As David Berry (shareholder) tells us, "Vision, dedication, persistence and excellence recognised.  Well deserved..."

Thanks again everyone for all that support!

Heritage hero award Our award from Heritage Alliance

Thursday, 14th November 2013

Keeping up to date at the Works....

Our current SHARE OFFER ended October 31st - we now have 530 shareholders with a total holding of  £267,000 - a little below our target of £300,000 but very decent -thank you everyone who has contributed - you've made the project a reality.

We are also now on LOCAL GIVING (see Donate page) so you can Gift Aid DONATIONS. Right now you can 'Grow your Tenner" where the Government gives us £10 when you donate at least £10. We've made over £1000 from this in the last month!

Along with over £6,500 of share purchases since April, we took £42,000 in our summer Community Bond issue, and we 're still working towards this year's target of £100,000. All this money is committed to renovating the building. We need the money to renovate this splendid piece of Sheffield's heritage, and keep our tenants in their workshops. We have  a huge task. 

So look forward to another Bond issue early in the New Year.  


Portico under repair From the scaffolding - supplied FOC by Harsco

But there's an awful lot more to do -  we need your support! The work on the entrance archway has now been completed, the toilets have been renovated (thank you Martin!) the worst of the roof leaks are being fixed (thanks Bill) and the street doorway is repainted (thanks Roger). More helpers and further funds will enable us to move ahead with roof repairs and weatherproofing.  We're grateful to HARSCO for providing the scaffolding for the portico repairs.

Read about us in NEW START online magazine. 

Stonework restored Stonework being restored June 2013

Derek Morton


updated 14 Nov 2013

Friday, 20th September 2013

New Directors and Officers

Following our highly successful AGM (17 September), we welcome new officers and Directors.

Chair is now Nikky Wilson, Deputy Chair is Stuart Mitchell and our new Treasurer is Steve Connelly. New on the Board are Directors Peter Marsh, Geoff Marston and Julie Eckford.  Other existing Directors are Nuala Price and Mark Jackson (tenant Directors), John Clarke, Paul Denial, Julia Udall and Derek Morton

Former Chair Derek Morton is taking a back seat (although still a Director) afer an eventful three years in the job, and we also thank Alan Deadman and Sara Unwin for invaluable work as Directors last year, and Alan for being Treasurer last year.

All Directors are volunteers and serve for up to three years, being elected at AGM.  Speaking personally, we are privileged to have a great pool of volunteers from which to draw such a committed group of Directors - for myself, they are a wonderful band to work with!

Derek Morton - former Chair, Portland Works

all inquiries to info@portlandworks.co.uk">info@portlandworks.co.uk

info@portlandworks.co.uk">20 Sept 2013

Sunday, 15th September 2013

Success at Open Day

We welcomed 160 visitors on Sunday 15th - our biggest ever attendance - wonderful day for everyone!


Wednesday, 7th August 2013

Radio Sheffield - live on Friday 9 Aug

Welcome to Radio Sheffield , covering all things stainless with Rony Robinson broadcasting live from the Works, 9 August.  

It has now expired on 'listen again' but we hope to have an audio file of the programme shortly.  Meanwhile here's some pictures of ther day

Rony Robinson interviewing tenants on the roof Tenants and Rony Robinson - 9 aug

Artist Linda Brothwell spent several weeks working at Portland this year, sponsored by the Jerwood Trust.

Her exhibition goes live from 10 July -25 August in London - see Jerwood's website

Linda's work is fascinating - in this project she made tools at Portland Works with the help of several of our craftspeople, which she then used to make small stainless steel objects which were temporarily (and gently!) embedded in parts of the building.  Visitors at 'In the Triangle' in May were able to see this work and meet Linda, who seems to be a rising star in the art world.  For more see Linda's website...

One of Linda's installations at Portland Works

Wednesday, 8th May 2013

Lots of Media coverage!

The Sheffield Star has now published "100 years of Stainless Steel" - launch article.  WE feature in there - a chapter on Portland Works and why it was so important in 1913/14.

Video interview for Sheffield Star newspaper highly recommended! Stuart, Julia and Derek 19 March 2014

The Timewalk project (for facebook users)

See us in Sheffield Telegraph 7 March 2013, (very good article)  also Yorkshire Post (rather innaccurate!) and we caught Radio Sheffield and Look North's eye!

Guardian Northerner blog 8 March 2013   and  Northerner blog 24 Feb 2013!

BBC Breakfast Show 7 January 2013 - this is part of a piece on national news about stainless steel 

26 March ITV Calendar video

26March Look North 

Missed us on Heritage Heroes? - An excerpt is still on iPlayer 

The Look North / Calendar spots in February produced a lot of interest - which helped the share issue to top £200,000 shortly afterwards.

Sheffields very own 'NowThen' magazine had a double page spread in issue 49 

Sheffield Telegraph 'Victory' story 1 April   Yorks Post 27 March,   Sheffield Star 26 March

Sheff Telegraph 2 FebYorkshire Post 3 Feb Sheffield Star 3 Feb and Yorkshire Times 4 Feb and Look North  + Calendar on 6 Feb and Heritage Heroes on BBC2 clip on iPlayer and Sheffield Star

Sheffield Star 24 Oct 2011 Sheffield Telegraph letters - 17 Nov 2011

Yorks Post 21 September 2011

Sheffield Telegraph  4 August 2011 and 17 March 2011

BBC Radio Sheffield Interview with Stuart Mitchell and Derek Morton - click to download the podcast - see their website BBC Radio Sheffield 

Newspaper articles... a selection of the best...

Sheffield Star  21 June 2011

Yorkshire Post  16 June 2011

Previous articles in the Yorkshire Post - full page story  Feb 2010 and  Feb 2009

Sheffield Telegraph 17 March 2011 and an excellent article from early days, 28 Jan 2010

and finally...  BBC WEBSITE UPDATED 26 March 2012

BBC website Portland works in pictures, April 2010

Thursday, 7th March 2013


Welcome to Portland Works, now the world's only community owned cutlery works! This is the culmination of almost four years hard work by volunteers to secure the future of this fine industrial building with a unique history.  Not to mention securing the futures of the 23 current tenants who represent a huge range of skill, expertise and heritage.  For more see the About us and Gallery pages.  If you want to know more or would like to help us, email  on info@portlandworks.co.uk

There's a really nice appreciation of the Works on Linda Panetta's personal blog, worth a look

Later this year we will launch a second share issue, and a Community Bond offer. We aim to raise £100,000 to begin the restoration. Details will be posted soon - watch this space!

We have achieved our first target - we own the Works. 

We now have well almost 500 shareholders, who raised over £250,000 in cash.  Many have put in £100 but the average is, amazingly, £500.  We are very grateful to all those who've had faith in the project and lent their support in so many ways.

You can become a shareholder.  The Share Offer page tells you how and you can find out more on  About Us and Our Vision for the Works. Or read  our latest Newsletter

Find out more by emailing  info@portlandworks.co.uk.

We are a Community Benefit Society, run entirely by volunteers. If you'd like to help us, get in touch.  Meanwhile Community Shares are becoming mainstream - remember you were in the vanguard! - see the news at the newly formed (government funded) Community Shares Unit 

Thank you and please keep supporting us!

Derek Morton

Chair, Portland Works LS Ltd, a Community Benefit Society registered with the FSA

updated 7 March 2013