What We Do

Since 2013, the iconic but dilapidated Sheffield cutlery works has been undergoing a transformation. It’ll take a long time, but the aim is to restore the whole Works into decent low-cost workspace where we can promote creativity and small scale manufacturing by skilled craftspeople, and provide opportunities for young people to become the craftspeople of tomorrow.

Industrial Conservation

We renovate and conserve Portland Works as a functioning, self-sufficient community heritage location

Support Our Makers

We support start-ups, small-scale manufacturers and creative businesses with workspace, help and guidance

Education & Outreach

We develop the site as a heritage and education resource that gives back to the local community

Industrial Conservation

Portland Works is on Randall Street in the ‘John Street Triangle’, a heritage industrial conservation area. The Works is one of the last remaining working examples of a purpose built metal trades factory, most other similar buildings having being demolished or converted into flats and offices. Commissioned in 1876 and completed by 1879, the building is little changed since then, only the showroom area and some extensions being added later.

Latest Renovation News

Supporting Our Makers

Portland Works is not just a historical building; it is also a thriving cooperative of craftsmen, artists and small manufacturing. While these “makers” may cover a variety of products, they all share the same essential characteristic. They use their unique skills and experience to produce something that is hand made with pride. This kind of artisanal art and manufacturing feeds the local economy, enriches the cultural heritage of Sheffield and is thriving at Portland Works.

Andy Cole Tools


Bailey of Sheffield


Buffergirl Jewellery

Daniels Brothers


Ed and Graeme, Bike Makers

God’s Own Rugs

Linda Doughty, Artist

Locksley Distilling

Lowtech Ltd



Mary Sewell, Artist

Michael May Knives

Opus Independents

PH Engineering

PML Silver Plating

Portland Works Studio

Quality Cabinetry

Shaw Engraving


Sheffield Hackspace

Singing Knives Records


Stuart Mitchell Knives

The Big Eyes Family Players


Tietzsch Guitars


Wilebore Hand Made Leather Goods

Education and Outreach

Portland Works has been a host to a number of student projects including working across a number of universities in the UK and Europe, with colleges and with individuals pursuing their own personal research. Our partners have included Tecnische Universitat Munchen, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, The University of Birmingham and others.

Students and course leaders from a number of disciplines, including Architecture, Town and Regional Planning, English, History, Journalism, Sustainable Studies, Conservation and Urban Design have worked with us to develop mutually beneficial research. Please contact us if you would like more information on any of these projects- or read more here about what we did.

In autumn 2014, the University-linked Live Project “One Great Workshop” explored energy and making in Sheffield, working in partnership with the AHRC Connected Communities project “Stories of Change”. In 2013 we hosted Masters in Architecture and Architectural Design Students from Sheffield School of Architecture for their Live Project. Their brief was to look at shared spaces within the Works, and help develop the “makers space“. You can read more about this here on their blog. You can download the previous ‘Live Project’ (2011) here.

We also collaborated with Sheffield Hallam University in 2013 and 2014, where students re-developed our website and Facebook pages. A highly successful partnership evolved from this work, and we hope to maintain this in the future.

If you would like to use the Works for educational purposes, these resources may help you refine and develop your ideas. Have a look at what we have already done, and contact us to discuss taking your ideas forward.

Recent Activities

We use cookies in order to give you the best possible experience on our website. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies.