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Keystone Property Group’s Desmond Conway talks investment, housing, and why the city will always be home

: Y R O T S S S E C C U S





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ALSO INSIDE... 6: News City's first China Forum, SCX raise the roof at Wimbledon and new Female Engineering Academy to open.

(NOT SO) SILLY SEASON 26: Calendar All the very best events happening around the city region in August and a look ahead to September. 56: Company Culture BHP tell us why they were the only South Yorkshire firm to be named on the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For. 59: Sheffield City Region SCR Mayor Dan Jarvis looks at why we need to balance our regional economy. 63, 67 & 71: Five Minutes With... We chat with DS Creative, Dawson Radford Solicitors and Hallam Barbell Club. 68: Feature: Exa Networks talk broadband for business. 74: After Hours Get shaken and stirred at all the hot cocktail spots. 82: Number Crunch We take a look at why Sheffield is still THE city of sport in our latest round-up of facts and stats.

EVERYTHING ELSE... 13: The Diary 21: In a nutshell 23: Evolving technology 25: Securing your assets 41: Legal matters 55: Charities 65: Y-Accelerator


The holiday season is upon us. That used to mean one thing in the media – silly season, ‘a period (such as late summer) when the mass media often focus on trivial or frivolous matters for lack of major news stories’, as Merriam Webster dictionaries define it. But looking through our August issue we think you’ll agree it’s packed full of the usual informative and useful features, news and views you’d expect. First off, our If You Ask Me which takes a look at our evolving work wardrobe. Do you or your team wear what you did to the office ten years ago? Or even five? Do you still believe applicants should come to an interview ‘dressed to impress’ or do today’s employers actually expect their workforce to express a bit of individuality and personality? Yorkshire and Humber has seen the biggest regional growth in the self-employed workforce over the last two decades outside London. So we decided to Focus On self-employment this month with freelancer Stella Bolam taking a look at the realities of life as a solo entrepreneur. Our cover star Desmond Conway set up Keystone Property Group three years ago, but the firm and its development partners have already raised and returned more than £60 million to its investors. Features writer Jill Theobald caught up with him to find out how, by specialising in traditional and alternative property investment opportunities, they are successfully bridging the gap between developers and investors. And as for our success story this month, it’s Sheffield’s Kings of Clean Killis. Founded in the 60s by an immigrant vacuum salesman fleeing Sovietcontrolled Budapest, the family-run business is today a multi-million-pound business supplying some of the largest facilities management companies in the UK. A packed edition of unLTD indeed. But that’s not difficult, when there’s so much going on across the Sheffield City Region. It’s hard to think of a time, silly season or otherwise, when we’d struggle for engaging content and revert to the ‘trivial’. Okay, the heat and summer vibes MAY even have got to us – as the businesses involved in our editor Richard Fidler’s take on cocktails might agree … cheers!

@UNLTDBUSINESS UNLTD BUSINESS UNLTDBUSINESS EDITORIAL Richard Fidler Jill Theobald General 0114 252 7781 ADVERTISING Phil Turner 07979 498034 Nick Hallam 07843 483 536 General FINANCE Sarah Koriba and Faye Bailey DESIGN Simon Waller and Simon Garlick CONTRIBUTORS Marc Barker Stella Bolam Alma Bruffy David Craig Natalie Harrison Sam Leeder

Jade March Sasha Mossman Martin Sissons Shane Spence Ash Young

unLTD is published monthly by Blind Mice Media Ltd Unit 1B Rialto, 2 Kelham Island Square, Kelham Riverside Sheffield S3 8SD and HRM Ltd Unit 1a Speedwell Works, Sidney Street, Sheffield S1 4RG The views contained herein are not necessarily those of Blind Mice Media Ltd and HRM Ltd and while every effort is made to ensure information throughout unLTD is correct, changes prior to distribution may take place which can affect the accuracy of copy, therefore Blind Mice Media Ltd and HRM Ltd cannot take responsibility for contributors’ views or specific listings.


AGENDA NEWS New ‘Jem’ of a business launches in Rotherham


SCX SERVES UP WINNING DOUBLE AT WIMBLEDON SCX Special Projects is celebrating a double achievement at the All England Lawn Tennis Club (ALTEC), Wimbledon. The bespoke engineering arm of Sheffield-based SCX group designed, engineered and installed the new retractable roof over No.1 Court – used for the first time during the current Championships. It’s the second roof SCX Special Projects has delivered to Wimbledon, after engineering the original Centre Court roof in 2009. The roof is part of a major three-year redevelopment of No.1 Court. It can be fully rolled out or retracted in an average time of eight and a half minutes, weighs around 1,000

tonnes – as much as 500 Land Rovers – but glides effortlessly above the 12,000-strong crowd. AELTC chief executive Richard Lewis said: “We are delighted the No.1 Court roof has been successfully used on several occasions, which has enabled us to complete matches that otherwise may have been suspended due to

The roof weighs as much as

500 Land Rovers

bad light. The feedback we have had from players and members of the public about the refurbished No.1 Court has been extremely positive.” Andy Whitworth, SCX Special Projects managing director, said: “The No.1 Court project demonstrates our capability to deliver unique engineering solutions on a world stage. Our knowledge and expertise in kinetic architecture – the discipline of engineering and safely controlling huge moving structures – was key to the project’s success.” SCX Special Projects lead engineer John Biggin added: “It’s a hugely complex structure, but it could not have been delivered more smoothly.”

More than 3,000 jobs created as companies invest in Sheffield City Region More than 3,000 new jobs were created in the City Region last year through domestic and foreign investment. Approximately two thirds have been created through 130 domestic investment projects, while a total of 1,010 were through 40 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects. Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis said: “With


high-profile investments from companies such as McLaren and Boeing in recent years, increasing opportunities for cutting-edge collaborations between our world-leading universities and businesses, and an ambitious plan to improve our transport network, our region is an increasingly attractive place to live, work and invest. “These new figures also

indicate that we have held up well against the national picture, which has seen a 14 per cent decrease in FDI projects, primarily due to uncertainty over Brexit. “But while we’re doing well, we can and should be doing better. Read more from SCR Mayor Dan Jarvis in our feature on the regional economy on pages 59-61

A new online store offering bespoke printed gifts and photography packages has opened its doors in Rotherham thanks to a funding grant from UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE). Jem Photography and Gifts specialises in the creation of personalised gifts including mugs, cushions and slate, whilst also offering photography sessions with Founder David Asbery, an experienced animal photographer.

Jem received

£500 funding from UKSE

The £500 funding from UKSE – an organisation tasked with supporting growing businesses in areas affected by changes to the steel industry – contributed to the investment in a piece of specialist equipment which has allowed David to expand his portfolio of products. In addition to launching the online store, David also travels around the region to showcase his products at events and provides a hireable photo booth service. UKSE’s Alan Stanley added: “Our Kickstart grants are designed to support the launch and growth of small businesses and it’s excellent to see that David has been able to expand his offering to clients and continue to work in an industry he is so passionate about."


AGENDA HOT Westfield Health is celebrating reaching 100 years in business by giving back to its staff, selected charities and the Sheffield community with a host of events and fundraising activities.


FEMALE ENGINEERING ACADEMY BACKED BY TOP EMPLOYER TO OPEN IN SHEFFIELD A new engineering academy backed by a top South Yorkshire employer is opening in September to inspire more women to get ahead in the industry. Liberty Steel Female Engineering Academy will open at The Sheffield College’s Olive Grove campus, to help address engineering skills shortages and boost jobs and economic growth.

Although engineering has a key role in driving the economy and productivity, it has been forecast the sector will represent 17 per cent of all job vacancies by 2024. Women are also under-represented, making up just 12 per cent of the engineering workforce nationally. The new academy is being set up to help address these issues

Estate agency director joins property industry elite Redbrik’s MD Mark Ross is joining the estate agency elite after being chosen to be a guest speaker at the property industry’s flagship event. Mark, a co-founder of Redbrik Estate Agents, is one of three Next Generation business owners selected to be interviewed on stage at the EA Masters 2020, by TV presenter Gabby Logan who is hosting the event. It comes after Redbrik, which employs more than 50 staff across five offices in Sheffield and Chesterfield, was named in the top three per cent of all


estate agencies in the country by the Best Estate Agent Guide 2019. Mark said: “It’s recognition for our unique approach to property marketing, which is helping the company achieve significant success in residential sales, lettings and new homes. “In just over six years, we feel we have reset the benchmark for property marketing, service and results. The business has grown rapidly, but our original ethos of honesty, integrity and bespoke customer service for every single client still flows through everything we do.”

locally and follows the signing of a partnership agreement between the College and Liberty Speciality Steels, based in Stocksbridge and Rotherham. Claire Neilson, community and engagement manager for Liberty Speciality Steels, said: “We are looking forward to taking a hands-on role in this exciting new chapter for The Sheffield College.”

Rotherham-based AESSEAL’s Charitable Trust, working alongside South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation (SYCF), has donated more than £800,000 to local community groups and charities.

Sheffield’s Wake Smith Solicitors has been shortlisted twice in the Yorkshire Legal Awards 2019, recognised by the judges in the Private Client and Commercial Property categories. Commercial law firm Dawson Radford is celebrating the launch of its new office premises, after relocating to Barlborough… …Food Circle Supermarket has upgraded to 615 sq ft premises at the Matrix Business Centre in Dinnington, following record sales in May and June. …and The Suit Works are also celebrating – their new Kelham Island premises, plus the launch of a womenswear service.

COOL Unemployment is down in Sheffield, according to the government – but the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) counter-claims the introduction of Universal Credit means the figures are ‘misleading’.


AGENDA USG ‘United’ about Sheffield

Leisure award shortlisting for Castle Park

The management team behind the Australianheadquartered new main sponsors of Premier League Sheffield United have given a big thumbs-up to the Club’s home city. After being unveiled as the largest-ever commercial transaction in the Blades’ history, key representatives from global multi-asset broker, USG, saw first-hand some of the emerging developments in the Sheffield City Region. Officials visited the iconic Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, including taking a close look at the English Institute of Sport Sheffield, and the world-renowned Advanced Manufacturing Park.

Welcome to Yorkshire White Rose Awards will take place on...

Castle Park – home of Doncaster Knights – has been nominated for the 2019 Business Events Venue of the Year at the Welcome to Yorkshire White Rose Awards. The awards recognise business events venues that demonstrate an excellent understanding of the market, exceeding the expectations of clients and with a strategic plan for future development, with clear goals. Castle Park sales manager Eleanor Hughes said: "I am so happy that our team



here at Castle Park has been acknowledged for our services to the local business community, with our conferencing team just going from strength to strength. If you look at the calibre of the finalists in this category, it is an honour that we've made the cut to be considered finalists for the Business Event Venue of the Year." The awards, which celebrate the very best in food, drink, accommodation and attractions in Yorkshire, will take place at the Leeds First Direct Arena on 25 November.

USG has agreed a 3-year Premier League partnership with the Blades

USG Chief Executive Shay Zakhaim said: “With every minute that passes, we realise that we made the right choice – we couldn’t have done any better, especially when you also consider these remarkable facilities at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park where the Sheffield United Women play, and the Advanced Manufacturing Park, which is renowned for excellence, are on the doorstep of Bramall Lane. “The Blades and Sheffield will help contribute to the growth of awareness of the USG brand.” USG has agreed a three-year Premier League partnership with the Blades to become their front of shirt and sleeve sponsor. It is a significant financial boost recognising United's place at the highest level of the English game.



‘BOLD NEW BRANDS’ SET FOR HEART OF THE CITY II Sheffield’s ‘vibrant creative scene’ has attracted two new brands, both taking significant units in the Heart of The City II scheme. Swedish fashion brands Monki and Weekday have signed up to Heart of The City II, becoming the first retail tenants within the Council’s £470m transformative city centre scheme – a mix of retail, residential and office space, set to create 7,000 direct and indirect jobs and spark £3.7bn of economic activity by 2030. The new stores are to be

located on the ground floor of Grosvenor House – the new flagship office for HSBC, with customer entrances situated on Pinstone Street. Both shops are expected to open to the public in November. Councillor Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “Heart of The City II is a truly innovative scheme that will transform our city centre. “Both Monki and Weekday are bold new brands that will bring new life into our city, and will give further confidence to the retail market.”

Jennie Dahlin Hansson MD of Monki said: “Sheffield is a city full of young, creative people and we can’t wait to open our first store there and share the full Monki experience.” Daniel Herrmann, MD of Weekday, added: “We have had great success in London and are now thrilled to be opening our first store in northern England, enabling more customers to experience our brand. Sheffield is the home to a vibrant creative scene, and we look forward to meeting this great community.”


AGENDA Local authority properties drive £5m sales at biggest auction of year


PARKLIFE! FIRMS TEAM UP FOR ‘ENGAGING’ NEW RESOURCE Sheffield digital agency Evoluted has teamed up with local student accommodation provider Gnome Student Homes to create an 'engaging resource' designed to promote Sheffield’s 13 ‘city’ parks. The guide has been created to encourage locals, visitors and students to boost their mental and physical health by spending time in Sheffield’s stunning parks. The guide includes unique imagery and information

related to each location, and contributions from Sheffield Mind, Sheffield Wednesday, SIV, walking group for women Her on a Hill and voluntary walking organisation Walking for Health/Step Out Sheffield. Sean Potter, head of content at Evoluted, said: “It’s been fantastic working with so many local organisations on this engaging resource. Sheffield’s green spaces are a superb selling point for the city and this guide will help

people to take advantage of them – boosting their mental and physical health in the process.” Owner at Gnome Student Homes Guy Ludlam said: “We’re pleased to have worked with Evoluted on this great guide and we’re confident it will provide a fantastic source of information for students looking to study in the city, as well as locals and other visitors.”

Hans retires after 4 ‘extraordinary’ decades at helm of healthcare firm After 41 years, one of Sheffield City Region’s high-profile business leaders, B. Braun Medical Ltd Chairman and group chief executive Hans Hux, is stepping into a nonexecutive Group Chairman role as part of a planned retirement process. Following Hans’ retirement, David Oates, former managing director for sales and marketing at B. Braun, becomes the firm’s UK Group managing director. Hans will remain in the nonexecutive role until the end of January 2020 and will retire after


more than 40 years – 27 as head of the company’s UK operations. Hans said: “To have the chance as a relatively young man to become MD, to come

Hans moved to Sheffield in


following 8 years setting up Aesculap B. Braun in Japan

to Sheffield with the task of re-engineering an organisation that was going nowhere and then to amalgamate two companies to launch B. Braun Medical was just extraordinary. “In 1993 we more or less relied on very few products but through an evolutionary process of innovation and diversification we have substantially increased the breadth and range of our product portfolio and developed new businesses and services which have really enabled us to establish B. Braun in the UK as a leading healthcare provider.”

Regional local authority properties drove sales of more than £5m at the biggest auction of the year for Mark Jenkinson and Son. The number of telephone and proxy bids were at an ‘all-time high’ at the fifth and largest sale of the year so far. All the lots offered by Hull City Council and Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council were sold, including a garage site at Silkstone in Barnsley which achieved more than four times initial guide of £90,000, selling for £378,000. Top price of the day at the auction, held at The Platinum Suite, Sheffield United Football Club, was £455,000 for a house and land on Stonelow Road, Dronfield. Other properties going


went under the hammer at the auction

under the hammer included a Grade II listed former schoolroom adjoining Banner Cross Methodist church with planning for residential which sold for £250,000. Adrian Little, Head of the Auction Department at Mark Jenkinson and Son, said: “This very busy auction was our largest so far this year thanks to the variety of properties on offer – particularly the assets being sold on behalf of regional local authorities. “The number of telephone and proxy bids were at an all-time high with freehold ground rents in Hull attracting huge interest from local and national investors.”


AGENDA HOT The Duke of Sussex Prince Harry visited Sheffield as the city played host to the firstever Invictus UK Trials. Plans have been revealed to drive forward the expansion of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park with regional stakeholders, in particular Sheffield City Council, to develop economic opportunities in the east end.

Fifty per cent of offices at a new 14,000 sq ft four storey building AG Property (UK) Ltd is developing at Broadfields Business Park have now been let off-plan.

UNIVERSITY EXPERTS SUCCESSFUL BID FOR FUTURE HIGH STREET FUNDING Sheffield city centre’s Fargate and High Street area has been selected as one of more than 50 areas across the country to go through to the second phase of a multi-million government fund designed to transform high streets and make them fit for the future. The University of Sheffield’s Director of City and Culture, Partnerships and Regional Engagement, Professor Vanessa Toulmin, coordinated the University’s support for the successful bid by Sheffield

City Council to the Future High Streets Fund. Professor Vanessa Toulmin said: “Our bid is all about creating a vibrant city centre which reflects the people of Sheffield. Creating this vibrancy includes not just having spaces to live in the city centre, but also about the support network which needs to go with that such as creches, green spaces and accessible links between the key areas of the centre.” “Our role will continue through this next stage where

we have the opportunity to work up a clear proposal for how we want Sheffield city centre to look in the long-term for the benefit of users, residents, landlords, businesses and retailers and the wider Sheffield community.” Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment at Sheffield City Council, added: “There is real momentum building in the transformation of Sheffield’s city centre and that is due to an impressive combined effort from a range of partners.”

Nik and Jon Daughtry from DED Associates, 99 Mary Street and The Viewing Room, have been made Fellows of the Royal Society of Arts. Barnsley College Bricklaying student Adam Batty is celebrating after winning the Guild of Bricklayers Senior Competition. Sheffield’s The Great Escape were on the small screen when comedian Jon Richardson and his wife tackled their ‘haunted house’ on his TV show Ultimate Worrier.

COOL Save Britain’s Heritage has written to Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore to express ‘strong concerns’ about the ‘ongoing destruction of Sheffield’s heritage’.


International dignitaries and businesses attended the first ever China Forum in the city to hear how a unique platform is set to bring ‘enormous benefits’ as a ‘shining light of the Sheffield City Region enterprise ecosystem’. 'All Things China' was hosted by the China UK Business Incubator (CUBI), the brainchild of businessman Jerry Cheung, and held at the £75million New Era Square Development – dubbed Sheffield’s China Town – located between London Road and Bramall Lane. New Era Development managing director Jerry Cheung said: “Our first China Forum was an important showcase event in bringing the public sector, private sector and education sector together, to create a stronger platform that can truly work for both UK and China businesses.” Nearly 100 guests attended, and 44 companies were represented from Sheffield, Doncaster, Chesterfield and even Manchester.




Healthy appointment for Dr Anna The National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine in Sheffield has appointed Dr Anna Lowe, a chartered physiotherapist with a special interest in physical activity and healthy ageing, as programme manager for the Centre.

Gabrielle’s residential role at Keebles Law firm Keebles has appointed solicitor Gabrielle Allen as a new member of its expanding residential property team.


Swallownest-based mechanical services company and Industry Contractor of the Year Airmaster has announced three new appointments. Andy Benson joins as finance manager, Adrian Gill as estimator and Scott

Wolstenholme as a project engineer. Airmaster’s MD Lisa Pogson said: “They are already enhancing our offer to a wider range of clients than ever. The two engineers started as apprentices, which sits well with our values.

"Almost 100 per cent of the Airmaster workforce have been apprentices, including founder director Richard Pogson and five of the six senior management team. We are committed to continued expansion and ‘growing our own’ wherever possible.”

Four more at MED-EL

New starter and promotions at PM Legal Services Property management firm PM Legal Services has boosted its team with Jonathan Cass joining as a senior litigator and solicitor Asia Munir promoted to associate. Partner Cassandra Zanelli said: “I’m so happy to welcome Jonathan to the team, as his


experience and knowledge will be extremely beneficial. “We’re also extremely proud of Asia for her achievement, as she has been with PM Legal since April 2018 and promoted in recognition for all of her hard work and efforts in her first year.”

MED-EL UK, the global innovation leader in hearing loss solutions, has welcomed four new faces to its team based at Thorncliffe Park, Sheffield. After building staff development into the company strategy and winning a Skills Development Award in 2018, MED-EL has appointed senior clinical specialist Stephanie Brushett; customer service manager Nicky Hellewell; customer service specialist Siobhan Scotson, and Joanne Grain in Business Support, Facilities and Health & Safety.

Jade joins HRM PR, digital and creative agency HR Media has appointed Jade March as an account manager.

Rich is new Affinity account manager Affinity, a privately-owned IT and Telecoms business based in Sheffield, has expanded further with the recruitment of Rich Davies to its team of account managers.

Intern duo for Ovo Commercial interior design and fit-out specialist Ovo Spaces has appointed two new interns – Megan Strutt and Heather Martin.



still the fastest internet connection available in Sheffield.

incomparable since 2016





Our editor challenges old office ‘norms’ and raises a glass to businesses … with a twist

Mixing business with pleasure

CHANGING CULTURE OF OFFICE LIFE Is there such a thing as a traditional office environment anymore? Or is everyone’s perception of the way an office works different? For me the ‘old school’ office in my mind was probably a place I’ve never actually worked – nor would I want to! A place where men wore a jacket, shirt and tie every day, rabbit warrens of corridors with departments segregated from each other, a culture of people ‘knowing their place’ and rites of passage for employees before they were truly accepted. Now, I’m not saying these offices don’t exist anymore, but things have certainly changed for the better. Most businesses will have some form of dress code, whether that’s in the professions where you’d be expected to wear more formal clothes when meeting clients, or in the creative sector where it seems the more outlandish

your attire the more you can charge for your work! Increasingly, however, ideas such as ‘Dress for your Diary’ are being implemented so people can dress more comfortably on days when they’re office based. Check out our If You Ask Me feature for more on this. Flexible working hours are becoming the norm with an understanding that employees won’t do ridiculous things like beginning their working day at 3am so they can be in the beer garden by midday. We all have lives outside work, whether it’s our children’s activities or doctors or dentist appointments that necessitate us being out of the office during ‘working hours’. Also, what do we think of the conduct of bosses? Does anyone expect to be shouted at or have abuse hurled at them when they’re at work these days? In my imagination this was once commonplace, and it may

still be the experience of some people. However, I think times have changed. Whereas once people would have been expected to just ‘get on with it’ there’s now, quite rightly, an acceptance that this behaviour is wrong. The same can be said of all forms of isms. No one should have to put up with being bullied at work and it’s good there is now far more awareness of where to go and what to do if you are. The huge caveat to this piece is that there will be people who feel different to this. Every workplace is different but I’m trying to describe a typical modern office rather than other work environments. Things have undoubtably improved over the 20 years since I began my working life after university. There is still a long way to go, but the most important thing is the old norms have been challenged, and in many cases won.

Got views of your own? Let me know: LinkedIn: Richard Fidler


This month’s After Hours feature checks out where to get the very best cocktails in the city region. Writing this column on the hottest day of the year my mind turned to some of the most popular cocktails, but, being a highly professional editor of an acclaimed business magazine, I felt there had to be a bit of a twist… So, with the help of the unLTD team, we’ve combined our favourite tipples with some of our favourite businesses. How about an Ameresco Sour, which combines the sponsors of our roundtable discussions with the smooth, sweet taste and mild kick of an Amaretto Sour. Or a Pina CODA-lada as a homage to one of Sheffield’s most prolific architect firms. Maybe a 99 Bloody Mary Street tickles your taste buds as one of the city’s coolest spaces in the Cultural Industry Quarter. How could we not have an Andrew Southern Comfort? The cover star from issue 10 is a local lad made good with property development schemes across the country. Then there’s a Harvey Morton Wallbanger as a nod to the young entrepreneur you can read more about in our Focus On freelancing. Our final cocktail is a Webmart-ini as we raise a glass to Webmart founder and Marxist/Capitalist businessman Simon Biltcliffe – and our very first cover star! If you can think of more, or just want to mock me for turning to drink for a column idea, then message me. Details opposite.



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The days of power dressing in the office appear to be long gone, and individual quirky style is being encouraged. We asked a number of leading businesses about their approach to the work wardrobe – and the effect on staff performance and productivity At our recruitment agency we are witnessing office dress codes across Sheffield becoming more informal and it seems employees are enjoying the wardrobe change. The days of power dressing in the office appear to be long gone, and individual quirky style is being encouraged as an expression of creativity and individuality. The IT and Digital sectors are particularly switched on to a more informal dress code and, whether it’s an internal or external meeting, it is the norm for jeans and t-shirts – there are even reports of shorts! This relaxed approach has a synergy with the industry and isn’t new to the trade and perhaps is where the seeds have been sown for other industries to follow suit. A key concern for some organisations is the impact on productivity and ensuring



professional standards don’t slip, and a more relaxed attire doesn’t equal a more relaxed approach to work. From speaking to clients who have embraced the change this does not seem to be the case – if anything it is more inclusive, and people feel more comfortable to

express themselves and knuckle down to work. If there is a nervousness around creating a more relaxed approach to office wear, trying out ‘dress down Fridays’ is a perfect way to see its impact on behaviours. Even include your work force and

ask them if it is something they would like to embrace. Naturally there are occasions when clients and external meetings may command a smarter dress code, in which case some organisations are encouraging employees to ‘Dress for your Diary’. Most days it is possible to pre-empt meetings, but a word of warning always be prepared – if you are in a business which may mean an impromptu meeting with a client, having a back up outfit stored at work could save you. Traditionally people are told to ‘dress to impress’ at interview but we are now hearing accounts that this is a turn-off to certain employers. We know of job seekers attending interviews who have been suited and booted in smart attire and this has resulted in the opposite effect of actually putting off a potential employer.




This year Gripple, the Sheffield-based manufacturer of the iconic wire fastener, is celebrating its 30th birthday and special branded garments are being offered to staff to mark this impressive milestone in our company’s history. For many years most of Gripple staff across the globe, most recently also in Japan, have been happy to sport the branded garments provided, although it is not obligatory. Whether it be a crisp white shirt in the office areas or a dark blue polo shirt on the factory floor there is pride in the success of the celebrated Gripple, which has become a ‘household’ name, certainly in Sheffield with its four bases, where there are approximately 250 employees of the company’s worldwide total of almost 700. As a fully employeeowned, multi award-winning company it is hardly surprising that Gripple’s shareholder


members – the employees (pictured) – are happy to wear Gripple garments whether client facing, in important meetings or on television! They want as much brand exposure as possible not only for the company’s benefit but also for their own. There is freedom in wearing branded garments whether to arrive at work every day or on the days they choose but all wearing them all day. Wearing branded clothes helps staff to share Gripple’s values, unique culture – innovation and to be passionate team players willing to challenge convention, all vital to the company’s sustained growth which is driven by its people. Gripple has no HR department, rather a People and Culture team. In 2011, GLIDE – Growth Led Innovation Driven Employee Company Limited – was formed to provide a ‘voice’ for all the shareholder members.

Wearing branded clothes helps staff to share Gripple’s values, unique culture – innovation

Members of GLIDE’s board are elected by their fellow shareholders to preserve and develop people culture – to look after the interests of its members. Effective training for all and fun have always been fundamental to Gripple’s continued success. GLIDE House is a training academy and a social club especially for staff with a bar, café and a gymnasium and for social and sports events including a sport day and quiz nights. It is also popular with outside companies for training events. When chairman, Hugh Facey received his OBE last year he thanked not only The Queen but also his ‘brilliant employees’ for their hard work and commitment over the years. He said: “Look after the people and the business will look after itself.” Presently, across the Gripple UK companies, about 115 members of staff have served 10 years or more.


IF YOU ASK ME At BHP, long gone are the days of restrictive ‘smart work wear’ – it just doesn’t fit our company values anymore. We believe that employee fulfilment is at the heart of making our firm’s success – and giving our colleagues freedom in what they wear contributes to this. We pride ourselves in promoting positive workplace culture, and trust that if we invest in our people, and support each other, we will create a successful, personcentred place to work. By implementing a ‘Dress for your Diary’ policy, people can now adapt what they wear according to their schedule. After speaking to our colleagues and listening to their feedback, they told us that they would feel happier to have more freedom in what they wear to work. There was a time when every professional, in any industry – especially accountancy – would put a suit on every morning but this just doesn’t sit with us anymore. People are more productive, and are happier, when they feel comfortable in the office

Tech, like fashion, is ever evolving, and we’ve entered an era where getting dressed for work no longer means ‘dressing up’. More relaxed dress codes have long been the norm for many tech companies, who have waved goodbye to suits and A-line skirts, welcoming polo shirts and jeans in their place. At Razor, we don’t have a strict dress code – we firmly believe that people work better if they are comfortable, and as a result, a relaxed work environment is ingrained in our culture. Workplace style for us varies on a day-to-day and individual basis. We don’t have a strict rule on what people can and cannot wear – our only rule is that employees dress for their day. With our broad and diverse client base, we want to ensure our clients feel


and our relaxed approach allows people to make an informed decision and adapt their workwear depending on the occasion. So, if a colleague is going to a client meeting, they may need to go for a smarter look. However, if they are in the office all day, they can adapt to a more casual style. We don’t want people to feel restricted to conforming to a typical ‘smart’ dress attire – when, simply, this is just not comfortable for everyone. We trust our staff, and because we create a positive environment, we want to reflect that in the way of freedom around workwear. People are at the heart of our business, and enabling them to focus on what is important, contributes to what makes us so successful. We are proud of our values, and believe our positive environment is what has helped us rank as one of the ‘Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For.’ Read more about BHP's company culture on pages 56-57.


comfortable and confident with our teams, so encourage them to be respectful of others in their clothing choices and trust our teams to dress appropriately depending on what job they are doing that day or week. Essentially, we want to ensure we promote a positive and professional image, whilst respecting the needs of our employees no matter what culture, religion or background they come from. We work to ensure any adjustments are made that may be required because of disability and consider Health and Safety. For some team members, it can be an organisational culture shift, but it’s one that has contributed to our success as we find that when our team is more atease, they bring incredibly innovative ideas to the table.



Refer a Friend We’re working on a theory that good people know good pople, and we want you to put us in touch with them. Does your friend constantly moan about their work woes, or are they looking to strike the perfect work-life balance? Then refer them to Benchmark and reap the rewards from our refer-a-friend scheme, we’ll find them their dream career* and you’ll have a fun friend once more!

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Founded in Sheffield in 2010, Twinkl is an online educational publisher that creates resources used by educators across the world. Our mission is ‘To help those who teach’, a goal we achieve by being a disruptive innovator – meaning we constantly ask questions and try doing things differently to support educators and the Twinkl team in the best way possible. Our approach to office culture is different, too. Our CEO, Jonathan Seaton, has always ensured Twinkl has a completely open plan office, full of different spaces and plant life, and colleagues can wear what they feel comfortable in. We have always had a ‘Dress for your Diary’ approach as it creates a familiar and open environment, where people feel empowered to be and


express themselves. It reflects the friendly and vibrant culture we have at Twinkl, and feeling comfortable and happy helps encourage innovative ideas within all departments. As Twinkl is a digital publisher, with members in more than 197 countries, we predominantly don’t have visual contact with our customers and instead mostly speak to them on the phone or online. In situations where team members will be seen by our customers at events, for example, they are encouraged to wear what they and the team consider appropriate. There is still no strict dress code – we just want colleagues to feel comfortable and at ease, wherever they may be. If you give employees freedom of choice to wear what they like, they often will feel that they have more control over their environment

We have always had a ‘Dress for your Diary’ approach as it creates a familiar and open environment, where people feel empowered to be and express themselves

and an increased sense of belonging, which increases team members’ wellbeing and productivity. A few months ago, we asked Fuschia Sirois, a Reader in Social and Health Psychology at the Department of Psychology, the University of Sheffield to conduct an internal survey about different aspects of the office culture at Twinkl. She found 80 per cent of team members highly ‘valued the relaxed dress code’ and that it was an ‘unexpected perk of the job’, which validates what we have been doing since 2010. Here at Twinkl, we believe that workplace dress is a good step in building a positive culture and ensures that the business is flexible, comfortable and collaborative, all translating into a happy team and the best for our customers.



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Features writer Jill updates her wardrobe for the new season of workwear

SUITS YOU, SIR? When I left my first reporter job on a local paper to join the world of PR, I remember one of my colleagues in the newsroom sarkily saying I’d have to stock up on shoulder pads. (It was probably the same joker who gave me a Happy Retirement card, to be honest). They were half-right with the power dressing dig (and 100 per cent wrong about the hard work and busy schedules involved in the PR industry!). In the mid-2000s my PR pals and I came to the office dressed, if not in suits, then in smart skirts or trousers paired with blouses and shirts. Fast forward a decade or so and it would appear, based on our If You Ask Me contributors, my current colleagues, and the offices I visit on reporter duties for unLTD, that the suit, if not entirely given the boot, has certainly gone out of fashion for today’s workforce. Indeed it was chatting with Benchmark Recruit that


inspired this month’s If You Ask Me when I confessed that I felt doing an interview with a recruitment firm meant I ought to wear a blouse and black trousers rather than my usual smart jeans and top look. So it’s interesting that Rebecca from Benchmark points out: ‘Traditionally people are told to ‘dress to impress’ at interview but we are now hearing accounts that this is a turn-off to certain employers. ‘We know of job seekers attending interviews who have been suited and booted in smart attire and this has resulted in the opposite effect of actually putting off a potential employer.’ A friend of mine is a prime example. The recruitment agency called to say she had a last-minute interview with a firm after 5pm on her day off. It was a train ride away and she didn’t have time to do her normal prep – take out her nose piercing and several of her

earrings, swap her every day wear for a suit – but got the job, because she looked like herself and not a corporate clone. As Louise from BHP says: “There was a time when every professional, in any industry – especially accountancy – would put a suit on every morning but this just doesn’t sit with us anymore. By implementing a ‘Dress for your Diary’ policy people can now adapt what they wear according to their schedule.” Katy from Razor meanwhile tells us: ‘More relaxed dress codes have long been the norm for many tech companies, who have waved goodbye to suits and A-line skirts, welcoming polo shirts and jeans in their place.’ Staff at employee owned Gripple are happy to wear their branded clothing and to be associated with the company, although it is not obligatory. ‘Whether it be a crisp white shirt in the office areas or a dark blue polo shirt on the

factory floor there is pride in the success of Gripple,’ Emma shares. On another note, over at Mantra Media HQ, last month’s cover star Johnny Pawlik and his team observe the Japanese custom of removing footwear when they enter the building. Staff and visitors can switch shoes for slippers if they prefer not to be barefoot and store their shoes in racks in the lobby. Johnny feels it helps staff feel more connected to the workspace as well as more comfortable. The only downside to dressing for your diary in a busy industry (like PR!) is the potential for eleventh hour meetings to be booked in, so a word of warning from Benchmark: 'Always be prepared, having a backup outfit stored at work.' Just like unLTD editor Richard Fidler with shirt, tie and jacket – you’ll never find him looking less than dapper at a minute’s notice!


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Our digital expert shares some tips on setting up a Google My Business page

QUICK CONTENT MARKETING WINS Google My Business is a free listing allowing your company to appear in local searches and maps. It also lists everything your potential customers could wish to know about you. Not only does this listing help with ranking for local searches, but it’s the ideal place to communicate with potential consumers. ‘Google Posts’ can include an image, copy, call-to-action and a link to your chosen landing page. Try promoting anything from expert guides and events to newsletter sign ups and discount codes. Use this valuable space to boost engagement and the visibility of your content – with very little time and effort.


Optimise your existing content Upgrade your content to improve a customer’s user experience. Improving existing content rather than creating new content from scratch is quicker whilst still helping to earn more traffic or effectively convert a lead.

• Flesh it out e.g. add more key product features

Is your content too thin there? Why do your site users lose interest here and how can you stop them leaving?

Make the most of this opportunity to find any additional, new keywords you may want to start ranking for and target them in the existing content, too.

You can also identify what pages are already ranking, and build on that content to create a comprehensive page with even more valuable information for the user – You’ll find your biggest exit pages this can help to boost search on Google Analytics; ‘Behaviour > rankings as Google rewards your authority and expertise. Site content > Exit pages’.

Consider the following: • A more compelling call-toaction • Link to further related content (internally of course) • A/B test new content on that page

Remove or fix any errors It’s surprisingly easy to make this common mistake. When a product or page is removed from a site, there are often still

links to those pages on your site so a search engine or user will hit an error page. The easiest and fastest way to fix any technical errors is to use a tool such as Screaming Frog. This automated process identifies 404, 500, and 503 errors that Google could potentially penalise your site for. This process also helps with pinpointing duplicate content on the site and identifying any missing or thin metadata. If you need help with this, or any other changes to optimise your digital marketing, get in touch with the Evoluted team. Ash Young, Evoluted


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CAN I INSURE MY BAD DEBTS? With a wide variety of factors affecting the UK economy, from Brexit to the trade war between the US and China, we live in uncertain economic times and there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of stability coming over the horizon. This uncertainty and instability can play havoc with business finance and with the lack of liquidity available to businesses it is possible we will see more volatility in the market and more business closures. So in these uncertain times how can you protect your business from bad debts? One possible answer is Credit Insurance, which is a policy that protects your business from companies


who can’t pay their invoices whether through insolvency, protracted default or political risk. How does Credit Insurance work? Generally speaking, the insurers work out a premium based on a small percentage of your sales turnover to provide cover on your whole debtor book. I often get asked by clients if they can insure the one customer they are worried about – however this is counter productive as the insurers will probably charge you as much to insure your most high risk customer as they would to insure all of them. When requesting a quote you will need to provide full details of your debtors to the

insurers, as well as details of your credit terms and also the amounts owed by individual debtors. From this information the credit underwriter will assess the risk presented and the credit worthiness of your customers. From this exercise they will not only tell you the premium they would charge but also what credit limit they would grant on your customers. A word of caution! Something to be aware of, however, with credit insurance is that the insurers can amend your limit throughout the policy period, depending upon their ongoing intelligence as to the credit worthiness of your customers. If it looks like a company is in financial difficulty you will find that the insurers will either

reduce or remove your limit altogether. This can obviously cause you a problem, but it is also a good indicator that you should probably be reducing your exposure to that customer if you can. So, in summary, Credit Insurance can be a real benefit to a business if used and understood properly. It can also be a requirement of many lenders if you are entering into an invoice finance facility. If you would like to know more please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Sam Leeder ACII Actus Insurance samleeder@ 0114 2903624 07718 189476





Venue: Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, Attercliffe Common, Sheffield S9 3TL Time: 6pm-7pm Cost: Members free, non-members £5.00 About: A very special behind-the-scenes tour of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park with the opportunity to gain insider knowledge about the former Olympic venue, which was designed to be used over the long-term to improve the lives and wellbeing of the local community. Contact:


Venue: Rebel Base Media, Sheffield Technology Parks, Arundel Street, Sheffield S1 2NS Time: 10am-5pm Cost: £150 About: Podcasting is exploding in the UK – how can you use it to help your business grow? Find out with this hands-on course for just five people where you'll launch your own podcast in just one day, thanks to the experts at Rebel Base Media. Contact:


Venue: Barnsley Football Club, Grove Street, Barnsley S71 1ET Time: 7:30am-9:30am Cost: Non-members £21.95, member £14.95 About: Membership of the Chamber is all about helping your business to grow and


what better way to meet new businesses and make new contacts from across the area than at the City Region Business Breakfast. Contact:


Venue: Gripple, Glide House, Terry Street, 300 Attercliffe Common, Sheffield S9 2AG Time: 12pm-2pm Cost: Free About: Hosted by Gripple and supported by the Y-Accelerator team, this two-hour informal workshop will look at identifying and solving problems, exploring opportunities, creating value and innovating by thinking out of the box. Contact:


Venue: The PrintHouse, 21-23

North Church Street S1 2DH Time: 4:30pm-9:30pm Cost: £25 About: Love a curry? Want to learn to cook one from scratch? Join Carl Brown from Network Chilli for a curry cooking class. All profits go towards helping combat isolation and loneliness in Sheffield Contact:

10TH-11TH SHEFFIELD FILM AND COMIC-CON Venue: FlyDSA Arena, Broughton Lane, Sheffield S9 2DE Time: 11am-6pm Saturday, 11am-5pm Sunday Cost: Adults £8.96, Children (u11) £4.48 About: The UK's favourite Comic Con returns to the FlyDSA Arena Sheffield, bringing you the best in autograph sessions, photo shoots and panels with your favourite celebrities. Contact: or call 0114 256 56 56


Venue: The Crucible, 55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield S1 1DA Time: 10am / 2pm / 7pm Cost: £15-£25 About: Legends such as Stephen Hendry and Jimmy White join a field of 20 players from 16 countries who will battle it out over four days to see who will lift the Championship trophy. Contact:


Venue: Norfolk Heritage Park, Guildford Avenue, Sheffield S2 2PL Time: 12pm-8pm Cost: Free About: A free multi-cultural family event with a costume parade, a main stage showcasing local music and dance performances, a funfair and stalls for all to enjoy! Contact:




Venue: Kollider, Castle Street, Sheffield S3 8LS Time: 9:30am on the 19th – 5pm on the 23rd Cost: £350 About: Run by the Kollider Incubator, the programme provides digital and tech entrepreneurs with the foundation and knowledge to properly validate and define their idea, in order to take it to the next level of development. Contact:


Venue: Sheffield City Hall, Barker's Pool, Sheffield S1 2JA Time: 10am-4pm Cost: £65 About: A powerful working workshop covering the importance of approaching tasks with the correct mindset. Contact:




Venue: Various throughout the city centre Time: 10am on the 17th, 4pm on the 30th Cost: Free About: Sheffield will once again be transformed into a city of LEGO® bricks this summer as Sheffield BID brings Sheffield Bricktropolis to the city centre. Families are invited to take part in an exciting space mission to discover planets, astronauts, rockets – and even a friendly alien from the farthest edge of the Green Spiral Galaxy! Contact:

of Commerce, Albion House, Savile Street, Sheffield S4 7UD Cost: Free About: This is an opportunity for Sheffield Chamber Members to find out about the

work underway to redevelop the area’s economic strategy and ensure that the strategy advocates business interests and needs. Contact:

Venue: Glacier Suite, iceSheffield, Coleridge Road, Sheffield S9 5DA Time: 9:30am-11:30am Cost: £10 includes refreshments and bacon or sausage sandwich About: The Entrepreneurs’ Business Club offers monthly meetings with an effective environment for building close working links and establishing that invaluable 'support network' of business contacts. Contact: info@entrepreneurs


Venue: The Library Cafe & Restaurant, 10 Leeds Road, Sheffield S9 3TY Time: 9:30am-11:30am Cost: £12.00 About: The Sassy Women of Steel is a networking group just for female entrepreneurs and business owners in and around Sheffield designed to connect to build friendships, support, partnerships, joint ventures and more. Contact:


Venue: Bloo 88, 182 West Street, Sheffield S1 4ET Time: 6pm-9pm Cost: Free About: A series of short presentations followed by pizza at Bloo 88 in Sheffield, sponsored by Irwin Mitchell LLP. Contact: sheffield@





Venue: Botanical Gardens, Clarkehouse Road, Sheffield S10 2LN Time: 12pm-1pm Cost: Free About: This season’s free yoga classes are starting – listen out for the singing bowl on the day! Contact: 07739 490143


Venue: Endcliffe Park, Rustlings Road, Sheffield S11 7AB Time: 10am-4pm Cost: Free About: For the 10th Annual Party in the Park stalls and entertainment over the day with all money raised going to support children and their

families who have suffered a burn injury and been treated on the Burns Unit at Sheffield Children's Hospital. Contact: lindsay.marris


Venue: Hilton Sheffield Hotel, Furnival Road, Victoria Quays, Sheffield S4 7YA

Time: 6:30pm-10:30pm Cost: From £55 About: For the first time ever outside of the legal system you will experience the theatre and debate of the UK justice system. As a Jury you’ll retire to debate and decide the evidence put before you before reaching a decision… innocent or guilty, you decide! Contact:



Venue: Ko-Host event space at Kollider in Castle House, Castle Street, Sheffield S3 8LS Time: 5:30pm-8:30pm Cost: Free About: Co-hosted by Barclays and Datatrainer and featuring various guest speakers, the event aims to promote the understanding and awareness of Artificial Intelligence and its ability to find efficiencies and insights in data. Contact:


Venue: Ambulo, Millennium Gallery, 48 Arundel Gate, Sheffield S1 2PP Time: 5:30pm-7:30pm About: Organised by CMS and unLTD and featuring various guest speakers, this networking event will be focused on women in the tech and culture industries. Contact: phil@



Venue: Akbar's, Meadow Bank Road, Rotherham S61 2NF Time: 6pm-9pm Cost: £20pp About: Informal event for local businesspeople to come and meet like-minded individuals in a relaxed environment with some tasty food! Contact:

DO YOU HAVE AN EVENT? Email us editorial@ with all the details of your event and we’ll try and get it in our calendar next issue.



Retractable roof over No.1 Court at Wimbledon (c)AELTC/Bob Martin

A winning double at Wimbledon Retractable pitch at Tottenham Hotspur (c)THFC

We are proud to have worked alongside the All England Lawn Tennis Club to engineer and install our second retractable roof at Wimbledon, this time over the iconic No.1 Court. May play continue, whatever the weather. We also created and installed the world-first dividing retractable pitch – and grow lights – at Tottenham Hotspur’s stunning new stadium, the pivoting seats at Wembley, the removable crossing at Ascot, and much more besides…

Pivoting seats at Wembley

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THE IMPORTANCE OF IT WHEN GROWING YOUR BUSINESS Ian Snow, MD of Central Technology, talks about the importance of IT strategy when growing your business IT has an integral role in the way a business operates – and as businesses grow, it becomes more and more important to develop and implement a scalable IT strategy. Failure to do so can result in wasted hours as staff battle with outdated systems that were never designed to cope with their business’s size and amount of workflow. CT often tends to come in to businesses when they find they have grown beyond their current IT capability. Our specialists will then audit what they have, understand the goals of the business and then develop a solution that will grow with them. Often, it’s a distress call but with the right foundations in place, it shouldn’t have to be. Where a business’s needs have grown in its early years, we often find all kinds of bolton, patches and workarounds have been applied to keep the IT running. It’s very often easier to start with a fresh slate. The key is not to start with the IT but to begin with the business – how does it work, what do users need technology for, and how might that change in the future? Once we understand that, it’s easy to implement a road map for IT in the medium and long term. As with many aspects of business, if you can get it right when you’re small then it’s easier to scale up when you grow. Invest in hardware that has a good shelf life – up to five years – and can be easily upgraded. Think about the workflow and how you manage things



like customer data, customer relationship databases, project planning and task tracking. SMEs also need to be mindful of security and whether they have the right IT systems in place to protect them and their customers from cybercrime. We also find common themes run across different sectors and therefore are aware of how to plan an effective and scalable IT solution. For example, in the manufacturing industry labour shortage has fuelled the need for automation, robotics, 3D printing and smart machines to improve plant productivity. Many rely on outdated security systems incapable of addressing the number

The key is not to start with the IT but to begin with the business – how does it work, what do users need technology for, and how might that change in the future?

and complexity of cyber threats leaving many of them vulnerable to costly breaches. They require more sophisticated ways of securing their networks and educating employees on cyber threats. CT has helped a number of manufacturing customers ensure that they have secure and resilient systems and process in place, that the latest software and technology is in place improving productivity and importantly that the investment in IT is maximised and supports the overall business growth plans. To see how we have helped many organisations in the manufacturing, charity and, legal sectors achieve their IT goals, visit







Three years after starting out, Keystone Property Group and its development partners has raised and returned more than £60 million to its investors. Jill Theobald caught up with Managing Director Desmond Conway to talk high yields, housing and why home will always be Sheffield – personally and professionally “There’s no place like Sheffield – I’d never live anywhere else.” Keystone Property Group’s Managing Director, Desmond Conway tells me this very early into our conversation. The London-born MD has worked all over including the USA, but it was love that brought him to the city he loves so much today. After meeting his Sheffield-


born wife while working in Dubai, in fact, he swapped the business hub of the Middle East for South Yorkshire to set up home and start a family. He set up Keystone three years ago, and today it’s a global business with sites across the UK, including London and Chelmsford – while the Sheffield home is a 150-year-old converted barn at Aizlewood Mills.

“For a business like ours, Sheffield has a lot to offer,” he says. “It’s within easy distance of the rest of Yorkshire, the Midlands, the North East, Greater Manchester, and London especially, making it easy to meet our clients and partners outside of the city we call home.” Desmond and his team have 100+ years combined experience working around the

globe across the investment, property, finance, and wealth management sectors. And three years after starting out, they have some pretty impressive achievements under their belt – not least eight site acquisitions across several major regional UK cities, including Birmingham and Manchester, and seven fully exited PRS (Private Rented Sector) projects.







They’ve participated in the development and delivery of numerous property-based investments, in both retail and commercial property throughout the UK and Europe, raising and returning more than £60 million to investors, with clients welcoming an average 21 per cent return per investment. Their partners include some of the country’s top property developers, such as the High Street Group and Godwin Developments, meaning investors have access to highprofile, unique residential and commercial property investments. “You have to be fussy when it comes to choosing who to work with, and making sure you’re on the same page,” said Desmond. “We want to work with the best people and businesses from across the sector, and the way we do that is thorough periods of consultation where we work out if our goals align. “I’m really proud of the team at Keystone and of the partnerships we’ve formed with developers, and domestic and overseas investors, which have opened doors for each party. “We want to provide opportunities for investors without them having to plan


We want to work with the best people and businesses from across the sector, and the way we do that is thorough periods of consultation where we work out if our goals align

around changes in legislature, or if they simply don’t want to have to deal with tenants and property maintenance. “It’s all about simplifying the investment process, by removing factors that have the potential to cause headaches down the line and bringing investors and property developers together.



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COVER STORY In 2019 Keystone acheived

60% cumulative returns

“The five main reasons people invest with us are our experienced team with over 100 years of industry expertise, offering both income and growth options to suit investor needs, our average return per annum of more than 20 per cent since 2016, exclusive investment opportunities, and secured investment options. “Basically, by specialising in traditional and alternative property investment opportunities, we bridge the gap between developers and investors.” The company has also been spotting gaps in the market to respond to, as well. “The proportion of people owning a home dipped significantly between 2007 and 2016, underlining the reality that more of us are choosing to rent and of the UK’s undersupply of for sale housing stock,” explained Desmond. “From 2007 to 2017, the


An average

12 MONTHS term length

private rented sector increased from 2.8 million households to 4.5 million. Younger households are more likely to rent privately, with 25 to 34-year olds representing the largest group. “But in terms of, for example, Sheffield’s rental sector we’re saturated with student accommodation at the moment. However, Sheffield also has the highest student retention rate in the UK, and we need to be looking at where those graduates want to live. Young professionals in their 20s with a high disposable income who want modern and attractive accommodation. “There have been a couple of developments popping up, but I think that niche market will bring in a lot of investment opportunities for the mid to long-term in a rapidly growing market. “We feel there’s huge potential for project

We feel there’s huge potential for project developments in Sheffield in the next decade

With an average

21% return per investment

developments in Sheffield in the next decade, in areas like Attercliffe thanks to developments like the Olympic Legacy Park and the new businesses starting up there. Attercliffe is one area that is poised for some fantastic developments and redevelopment. “While a lot of developers might be somewhat tentative about the perceived idea of Attercliffe, it’s worth bearing in mind that people were saying similar things about Kelham Island 10 to 15 years ago and that has proved to be a prime example of how to redevelop and regenerate an area to attract creative businesses, multi-million pound apartment developments and a vibrant leisure scene, all while retaining its heritage. “Once one developer puts their foot down, others will follow – it’s very much a herd mentality!





COVER STORY “It’s great that Sheffield City Council appear to welcome inward investment and the regeneration of certain areas, too. “Areas on the outskirts of the city centre will also be of interest to developers, especially with the AMRC in Rotherham close to the city’s border. Boeing and McLaren both being located there is a sign of the times – if investments are being made in areas away from the city centre where high profile businesses are based, it’s inevitable that residential developments will move there, too.” And if Attercliffe is the next Kelham Island – where is the next Attercliffe? “It could be anywhere – that’s the beauty of Sheffield,” adds Desmond. “So many areas are prime for development – there’s potential everywhere.

KEYSTONE – So many areas are prime for development – there’s potential everywhere

“With a rising profile attracting the attention of both foreign and domestic investors, the face of the city is changing with the emergence of historic new developments that will secure Sheffield’s place as a regional hub of innovation.”


Keystone’s first year, the Group set up shop in Sheffield. The Group launched their first investment opportunities, giving investors a means to access the UK property market, other than traditional buy-to-let. PRS (Private Rented Sector) site acquisition is made in Milton Keynes.


Sites acquired in Salford, Birmingham, Newcastle, and Warrington. Alongside their partners, the Group won the ‘Best Property Award’ at a Hyde Park ceremony. Two projects were fully exited, averaging a return of 22.5 per cent for investors.


Keystone’s best year to date with PRS projects awarding investors in every project with an accumulative total of 63 per cent. The Group also expanded, opening a new office in Essex. Keystone won both ‘Best in Show’ and ‘Best Newcomer’ on their debut at the Property Investor Show and Luxury Property Show. The Group’s headline investment option was their Flexible Loan Note, giving investors the opportunity to design an investment to suit them.


Keystone kickstarted the year with recordbreaking returns for investors looking to enhance their financial future. Already this year three investments have exited, awarding investors with cumulative returns exceeding 60 per cent, including 24 and 16-month projects in Manchester and South Yorkshire.




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BY MARTIN SISSONS, PARTNER AT BELL & BUXTON Our legal columnist on the often over-looked issue of mental health and business owners


MENTAL HEALTH AND POWERS OF ATTORNEY FOR BUSINESS Most owners of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) pay close attention to their business strategy, succession plan, and exit strategies for retirement. However, one issue which the vast majority of owners tend to overlook is what would happen to their business if they were to suffer from mental health problems which prevented them dealing with the day-to-day running of their business. Where the SME trades through the vehicle of a Limited Company then it used to be the case, under the model articles of the company, that a person’s directorship of the company would automatically terminate if they were to suffer from mental health problems – the Mental Health (discrimination) Act 2013 removed this automatic


termination provision so that now where a Director of a Limited Company suffers from mental health problems, they will be able to remain a Director of that company. The Equality Act 2010 means that partnerships and sole traders are to be treated similarly. Given that there is no longer an automatic provision to remove key figures in the business who are suffering from mental health problems, this could lead to problems for the business from an administrative and decision making point of view if the unwell individual does not have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place under which the Attorneys can take over the functions required by the business. At the top of the potential problems pile may be the position with the bank. Many

standard overdraft facilities between businesses and their banks include a provision that the bank may withdraw its facilities after 28 days once receiving a notice of incapacity of the Director or other appropriate person – clearly that could prove disastrous for the business both in the short and longer term. Similarly, if the person who is suffering from mental health problems carries out a job which is regulated, then the Attorneys will also need to be suitability qualified and regulated themselves. It may be that you already have a Lasting Power of Attorney in respect of your personal property and financial affairs. If so, it is worth asking yourself whether or not the Attorney (or Attorneys) appointed under that document are the appropriate

people to make business decisions on your behalf? Do they have the necessary skills to continue the business if you are incapable of doing that yourself? Do they have the necessary qualifications if your job requires you to be regulated? In many situations we find that owners of SMEs like to appoint Attorneys with a different set of skills for their business affairs and their personal affairs. It is possible to have more than one property and finances Lasting Power of Attorney and indeed some clients who hold multiple Directorships will have a Lasting Power of Attorney for each of those. Our team at Bell & Buxton can provide confidential advice on all aspects of the law for company and business owners.






Family run since 1964, Killis are Sheffields’ largest suppliers of cleaning equipment. The company started out selling and servicing vacuum cleaners locally and now operate across the country, supplying everything from cloths and mops to Industrial scrubber dryers.

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s store is The iconic Killi Sheffield well-known in nded by after being fouTibor Killi ‘King of clean’ Theobald Snr in 1964. Jill MD Tibor meets son and e modernJnr to discuss thdustry day cleaning inn-pound of multi-millio onmental contracts, envirinnovation efficiency and




From an immigrant doorto-door vacuum salesman fleeing Soviet-controlled Budapest for the UK to a multi-million-pound 50year plus Sheffield-based business supplying some of the largest facilities management companies, the NHS and not to mention a recent win for a national restaurant chain. Badging this feature as a ‘success story’ doesn’t seem to quite cover it when it comes to the father and sons business case study that is Tibor Killi Snr and Jnr and Imre Killi. The iconic T. L. Killis store on Glossop Road/West Street is well-known throughout Sheffield. Family run since 1964, after being founded by renowned ‘King of clean’ Tibor Killi Snr he can still be found there most days where is happy to recount his back story. It’s a tale deserving of a feature in itself as it incorporates the Hungarian Revolution, attacking Russian tanks with Molotov cocktails, an Austrian refugee camp, an RAF Camp in the UK, a YMCA in Manchester, interpreting for the Hungarian national football team for the 1966 World Cup, and a door-to-door vacuum salesman. Sheffield in the 1960s saw the heavy engineering, mining, steel works and cutlery manufacturing industries at a peak and in August 1964 Tibor Snr moved


to the city to help ‘in the big clean up’. Today Killis are Sheffield’s largest cleaning suppliers with four further units in Handsworth housing the largest showroom of cleaning machines in the UK, as well as a warehouse and manufacturing unit. Over the years, the company has grown to offer a one-stopshop for everything cleaning ranging from a tub vacuum cleaner to a road sweeper, toilet rolls to chemical free cleaning systems. It’s safe to say Tibor Snr helped clean up. It’s the Handsworth site where I meet son and MD Tibor Jnr to find out how he is taking the company forward – including a new purpose built 40,000 sq ft state of the art building due to open in September 2020 on the former Asda site in Handsworth. “We are proud of the history and experience that we, as a company can bring to the cleaning world,” he says. “Since being launched by my father, we have grown from a vacuum retailer to a one-stop solution for anything cleaning.” Killis also has a manufacturing arm to the business Motorscrubber which specialises in the design and manufacture of compact cleaning machines. Motorscrubber Is managed by Imre Killi, Tibor’s brother, and is also a rapidly growing

Cleaning is not seen as a sexy industry, let’s be honest! The perception is that it’s low paid, dirty, and manual but products like the i-mop are helping to challenge that

company which currently exports to more than 50 countries. “After seeing the changes within the cleaning sector, we placed a key focus on innovation,” says Tibor. “We’re now one of the go-to companies for cleaning supplies and an authority in the UK floor cleaning and janitorial world. “We are the sole UK distributor of the popular and innovative i-range family, which includes scrubber dryers, vacuum cleaners, gumremovers, microfibre pads and all-in-one cleaning islands. The jewel in the crown is the i-mop which combines the flexibility of a floor mop with the power and speed of an industrial scrubber dryer. “Cleaning is not seen as a sexy industry, let’s be honest! The perception is that it’s low paid, dirty, and manual but products like the i-mop are helping to challenge that. It’s bringing innovation to an industry, making cleaning easier and more efficient, and hopefully people will feel far happier about their work using it than a traditional old mop and bucket.” It would certainly seem so – since bringing the i-range to the UK in 2015, Killis have sold more than 10,000 products to the health, education, care home and commercial cleaning sector as well as domestic end users.



Killis have sold more than


to the health, education, care home and commercial cleaning sector as well as domestic end users







“Single use plastic is a big issue at the moment,” says Tibor Jnr. “Products like the iClean mini turns tap water into a safe, effective cleaner and sanitiser that is stronger than bleach. The product is refillable, will last six or seven years and eliminates the need for lots of different bottles of products. It’s also much safer for people to use as there are none of the hazardous odours or toxic residues that come with traditional cleaning chemicals.” Tibor Jnr is clearly just as ambitious and enterprising as his dad. Born and bred in Sheffield he started helping in the city centre shop on Saturdays as a young child and by the time he was a teenager holidays were spent renovating wooden floors. But it’s a work ethic and drive that has paid off. (‘I’m not a 9-5 kind of guy – more like 5am-11pm!’) In the last five years since taking over as MD he has overseen ‘massive growth’ – from a turnover of £2 ½ million to £12m, and he’s not stopping there.


“My target for the next five years is £50million – it’s ambitious but achievable after such aggressive growth over the last year or so. As a result of that growth, we have set in place a management structure allowing us to facilitate the increased business as well as work smarter and more efficiently. “In the last two years we have doubled our workforce to more than 60 people and with recent large contract wins we will probably take on up to 40 more staff nationally. Most of our staff are Sheffield-based though and our new facility will be able to accommodate up to 100 people.” And the next innovation Killis will be exploring? It makes sense that the son who convinced his dad to move from ‘old-fashioned’ paper-based work systems to computers is looking at yet more advanced technology. “The next big thing we will be investing in is robotics. That’s the way the world is going – robots don’t take

In the last two years we have doubled our workforce to more than 60 people and with recent large contract wins we will probably take on up to 40 more staff nationally

holidays or need sick pay and businesses are always looking to save money, so we have to respond to that, it’s a necessity for us. “We have supplied robotic cleaners to hospitals where they literally set it to clean at 2am and by time people are coming in the morning the corridors are done, so we can see these products being popular with a lot of other industries with big wide spaces – shopping centres, football stadiums and airports, for example.” And while the cleaning industry might not be ‘sexy’, Tibor Jnr believes it to be ‘Brexit-proof’. “People might cut back on spending on things like a fancy new car or clothes, but they still need to clean their houses. Businesses, too – those bigger workplaces like airports and leisure centres and hospitals have to be cleaned and cleaned efficiently.” That £50million target may well be very achievable indeed…



umber has seen e H d n a e ir sh rk o Y nal growth in th the biggest regioorkforce over the self-employed w in the UK outside last two decades ntributor – and London. unLTD coa Bolam takes freelancer – Stelleelance life is a look at what fr ares how you can really like and shntrepreneur thrive as a solo e




Here’s a pub quiz question for you. Which often-unseen sector of the UK economy generates an impressive £140-145 billion every year? No prizes for the right answer (the clue’s in the article title). Today there are 2.1 million highly-skilled freelancers trading in the UK who, according to recent analysis published by respected international think tank the Centre for Research on SelfEmployment (CRSE), are one of the UK’s most productive and important economic assets. CRSE’s recent report, The Freelance Project and Gig Economies of the 21st Century, says: “Highly-skilled freelancers give businesses access to flexible expertise beyond their fixed employees and allow firms of all sizes to manage shifting demand and compete with much larger businesses.” On a broader scale, factoring in lower-skilled ‘gig economy’ earners, freelancing has been on the rise over the last two decades, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). In 2001, the UK had 3.3 million freelancers. Now there are 4.9 million and this upward trend has occurred in all regions. Yorkshire and Humber has experienced the biggest regional increase of all – with freelancers now representing 13.5 per cent of our total labour force – outside of the top freelancing hub, London. This growth comes as no surprise to the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), the voice of the UK’s selfemployed population. Chloé Jepps, IPSE’s deputy head of research said: ‘Today, freelancing is growing enormously quickly in cities like Sheffield and right across the UK. Working for yourself is



becoming ever more popular as people look for greater freedom and flexibility, as well as a better work-life balance.” Work-life balance is a crucial factor for freelancers, although often the expectations people have don’t easily play out. According to a UK freelance study released last year, selfemployed people work an average of 65 hours a week and take half the holidays full-time workers do. Harvey Morton, a Sheffieldbased freelance IT and digital specialist and winner of IPSE’s Young Freelancer of the Year Award 2018, relates to this. “One thing that really appealed to me when I started freelancing was the thought

It’s still a learning curve, especially managing expenses and keeping track of finances

that everything could be really flexible, that I could just be stress-free. But the reality is often the opposite! I’ve struggled with getting a good work-life balance.” Now six years into freelancing, he also appreciates the advantages of self-employment. “I like the flexibility of fitting work around what I want to do and the variety of the projects,” he says. Winning the IPSE Award was an unexpected bonus (“I nearly deleted my award application and I ended up winning!’) which has opened business doors beyond Sheffield City Region. One advantage of freelance work is that business isn’t restricted locally. Sheffieldbased freelance marketing specialist Jade Strain has built her client base outside the SCR region. “I feel that people in Sheffield don’t want to pay a lot. I have to go elsewhere where people seem to understand the value of my work – and I charge a very competitive rate.” Jade’s business, Day 21 Creative Marketing, has been running since February 2018. “I had no idea what I was doing when I started. I just thought: ‘I’ll find a client and figure it out.’” She gave herself three weeks to find her first client, otherwise she would have started applying for full-time work – hence the inspiration for her business name! While she acknowledges the constant challenges, she’s found like-minded freelance collaborators. “It’s still a learning curve especially managing expenses and keeping track of finances,” she admits. “Collaboration’s been everything. I work with my freelance graphic designer friend and other people who specialise in different services, like SEO or websites, so I have quite a tight-knit group now.”





Working as a freelance team has been central to Martin Birds’ self-employed career, too. His graphic design business, The Creative Surgery, was formed 11 years ago, after he left his full-time job. “I was working at a design manager at Thornton’s (Chocolates) and freelancers would come into our studio. I was intrigued by the flexibility they had.” Through an existing contact, Martin was soon working freelance in a team who specialise in retail gift card design for the likes of M&S and Wilko and he’s still working with them three days a week.


“I don’t feel like a freelancer when I’m working for these guys, it’s like having a full-time role. You know each other inside out.” Sometimes the key to successful self-employment is about being self-aware too. Freelance film maker and artist CK Goldiing also operates under the guise of PR and content agency Icons & Machines. CK’s been self-employed for seven years but freely admits he’s still overcoming freelancing hurdles. “I’m an artist at heart. Being a ‘businessperson’ doesn’t come naturally,” he says. “The best thing about freelancing is

I don’t feel like a freelancer when I’m working, it’s like having a full-time role

the liberty it affords you. As CK the artist, I have the freedom to make a film that goes viral on a whim. The flip side to that is my heart wants to do that stuff all the time. That’s when I have to sit back and oil the PR wheel, too.” Even though CK is Sheffieldbased, his projects often take him further afield – “I’m soon going to be delivering PR workshops across the UK for Spaces global workspace brand”. Of his recent work, he says: “My proudest moment was the Christmas campaign I made for Sheffield Gift Card last year, which came off the back off my film ’61 Hugs’.”




FOCUS ON Sheffield’s warm reputation as the UK’s biggest village – with all the potential professional networks that brings – is appreciated by one of the city’s most renowned freelance illustrators, Geo Law. “Sheffield for me has always been this great place where I could set up shop – to start my business and grow it and even fail at points,” he says, with nine years of freelancing under his belt. “It had readily-available, cheap places to move into. The creative network was very good – and still is. Sheffield has interesting projects and agencies. People are very friendly to work with, too.” Geo now has international

clients and is planning a move to London but will still be regularly here, creating in his home city. What advice does he have for those who are considering freelancing? “You have to think: Can I set up as a freelancer and survive for three months without getting any work? In those three months you can then concentrate on getting clients,” he says. Harvey also recommends staying focused. “I used to look at people on social media and compare myself, thinking ‘they’re successful, that’s where I want to be”, he says. “It’s important to focus on your own goals.”

A SECOND-TIME-AROUND FREELANCER’S GUIDE TO GOING SOLO As someone who first drifted into freelancing, working as a magazine journalist in London then as a copywriter in Sheffield, I didn’t plan to stay self-employed for the 11 years that I did. Looking back now, I realise why I lasted so long. I had the skills, but, more importantly, freelancing suited my personality. You have to be resilient, self-motivated and ultimately find joy in what you do – because that’s what will drive you on those tough days when the work dries up or when you’re riding an emotional rollercoaster of financial highs and lows. Now I’ve chosen to be freelance again, after switching to full-time employment for seven years, I’ve learnt these truths still apply. Everyone’s version of self-employment is different but here are my freelance tips:

KNOW YOUR WORTH Research your competitors (factoring in regional differences) and price your services or products accordingly, at a professional rate that reflects your value.

CREATE YOUR BEST WORKSPACE Have a quiet place to think, plan and get stuck into projects. Isolation can be a big issue for freelancers, so unless you thrive in solitude, I’d also recommend coworking. Having a base away from home is worthwhile for client meetings and building a new community of connections.

VALUE YOUR TIME AND ENERGY Think carefully before going after every opportunity you see. Look at the project in more detail and weigh up the pros and cons. Do network but be selective – I go to events that suit me best and that I enjoy the most.

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR CALENDAR Book in regular slots for admin, social media or research into your diary and stick to them. Add reminders or notes to keep track of tasks or ideas. Whenever you’re on a tight deadline, set up a temporary email auto message so you can stay away from your inbox.



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CHARITIES Our round-up of some of the great work charities are doing in the city business region – and the companies that are doing their bit to support them

AWARDS EVENING CELEBRATES ‘INCREDIBLE’ FUNDRAISING SUCCESS The Children’s Hospital Charity have celebrated the ‘incredible’ efforts of kindhearted individuals, groups and businesses who supported the appeal to build four worldclass new wards at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. The charity’s first-ever awards evening recognised the achievements of supporters of the ‘Make it Better’ appeal

which raised more than £10m for the Hospital, creating wards which include awardwinning artwork, therapy rooms, and parent relaxation. David Vernon-Edwards, director of The Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We are so thankful to everyone who helped to raise so much for our hospital. Without their help, the new wards wouldn’t be the


special place they are today. “It has been a real privilege to recognise just some of the

incredible people involved and we could have filled the room many times over.”

FSB to support Royal-backed mental health initiative Mental health initiative Heads Together has been chosen by the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) as its chosen charity for the next three years. Spearheaded by The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – Heads Together is dedicated

to helping people feel more comfortable with their own mental health and wellbeing. A key focus for the charity is destigmatising mental health in the workplace by encouraging more conversations. The FSB has contributed to the Mental Health at Work Gateway website which hosts wellbeing

and mental health guides. Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman, said: “As business owners, we have a crucial role to play in starting the conversation about mental health in our workplace. We need to lead the way in both destigmatising mental health in the workplace and acting to help members

of our team when they are struggling. “Over the next three years, we will continue to support the great work Heads Together is doing with the Mental Health at Work Gateway while engaging with them on other initiatives like their work with the armed forces.”

FITNESS FANS TAKE ON ‘TOUGH CHALLENGE’ FOR HOSPICE A week of fitness at Sheffield city centre’s Pure Gym has raised more than £1,020 for St Luke’s Hospice. Clients took on a series of tough back-to-back classes in their bid to raise money for Sheffield’s only hospice. “This was a really tough challenge and one that Pure Gym’s clients really took to with great enthusiasm,” said St Luke’s corporate fundraising manager Jack Kidder. “The money they raised will go directly towards supporting


both our patients and their families.” Tim Whittaker, assistant manager at Pure Gym Sheffield city Centre South, added: “What a fantastic achievement from our team. Thanks to our members we’ve been able to raise some money for a great charity.” St Luke’s care for people aged 18 and above throughout Sheffield who have terminal illnesses, aiming to control their symptoms, alleviate pain, and give them the best possible quality of life – all free of charge.





BUSINESS Sheffield-based accountancy firm BHP was recently ranked one of the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For. unLTD’s Sasha Mossman found out why they were the only South Yorkshire firm to make the list



COMPANY CULTURE For a company established more than 150 years ago, BHP’s reputation as a ‘people-centric’ business continues to endure today. The firm is currently one of the top 35 accountancy firms in the country and for Head of HR Louise Allen, employee fulfilment is key to ensuring the firm’s success. “Over the last ten years, BHP has increased turnover from £8m to more than £20m, and this success is testament to the firm putting its people first,” says Louise. With more than two decades’ previous HR experience, Louise is dedicated to ensuring staff wellbeing is maintained consistently – overseeing the developments in the workplace designed to raise morale. “We actively encourage our people to have a healthy work/life balance – the introduction of an e-mail ‘curfew’ last year has been particularly effective in helping people manage this. “Along with this, we take an Agile Working approach, as we trust our staff to manage their time to ensure they maintain an excellent standard of client service whilst having the flexibility to do what they need to outside of work. Our ‘Dress for your Diary’ policy has also been well received as it enables people to wear what is


comfortable in the office,” she adds. Read more about this in our If You Ask Me feature on page 15. Louise believes maintaining a solid level of trust in the workforce at BHP is crucial, and that equality – no matter your ranking in the team – should be expected in the firm. “We have always strived for a more diverse workforce with a more participative culture,” says Louise. “Communication is at the heart of maintaining our company culture throughout the growth of the business. For the last nine years, we have held an annual conference where everyone in the firm gets together to share our experiences and to celebrate our successes. “At BHP, we are very open about our finances with employees – which is very unusual for a business of our nature. The conference also invites the workforce to find out more about the senior people in the firm as people and other business leaders. “We also use technology to keep everyone informed of what is going on around the firm including online teams and video conferencing, which we feel is vital given the geographical spread across the Yorkshire region.” As a chartered member of the CIPD, Louise feels that giving staff the freedom to work alternative hours

We actively encourage our people to have a healthy work/ life balance – the introduction of an e-mail ‘curfew’ last year has been particularly effective

– as opposed to a regular 9-5 – are more beneficial to the company than one may initially expect. “Nearly 20 per cent of the workforce work part time, across all levels and departments, which shows flexible working is no barrier to progression. It fits in with our core values – we will always support our people to develop through professional qualifications and personal skills training so they can achieve their potential, no matter their situation. Our main focus has always been on developing and

supporting our people as this is what enables us to deliver outstanding client service.” Increasing staff satisfaction is not an easy task, as Louise explains that several ideas – including some in the pipeline – can sometimes take some adjustment in order to hit the mark. “Our staff are encouraged to support the community and charities they feel passionately about through an employee-led CSR strategy and everyone is given a ‘volunteer day’. Take-up of this has been slow to start with but we are looking at ways to encourage more participation in voluntary activities.” With employee morale on the rise, it’s significant to note that staff feedback has been crucial to one of the firm’s biggest achievements of the year so far, as Louise explains: “We carry out an annual staff survey to get feedback on all aspects of working at BHP, as well as online suggestion boxes. This year, we used the Best Companies survey and it is thanks to staff feedback that BHP has been recognised as one of the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For. “Everything leads back to our key core value, which states: ‘We support each other. We trust, encourage and develop our staff, because we know that it’s our people who make us what we are.’”







REGIONAL ECONOMIES Answers to rebalancing the economy don’t lie in Westminster and Whitehall – but with regional leaders who know their communities best, says Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region





We stand at a point of great change for our country. Brexit and a change in leadership are consuming Government, while businesses are left trying to find the best path through the uncertainty. It is imperative that while national Government works through its internal wrangles and the complexities of the UK’s exit from the European Union, the urgency of tackling regional imbalances and safeguarding the future of our communities and businesses is not forgotten. I’m doing all I can to help businesses and individuals grow our economy in South Yorkshire, create infrastructure that better connects people and places, and give the private sector the support it needs to create good jobs and boost productivity.


Through the Mayoral Combined Authority, we’re delivering successful Local Growth Fund projects, such as the Waverley district centre development at the heart of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District, the Great Yorkshire Way linking Doncaster’s iPort and Doncaster Sheffield Airport to the motorway network for the first time and the awardwinning Grey to Green scheme in Sheffield. I’m also looking to the future by working closely with the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to develop the Sheffield City Region’s new Strategic Economic Plan and Local Industrial Strategy. These will set out our region’s economic aspirations for growing our economy into the future.

Creating the workforce of the future is key to our ongoing success. That’s why, in collaboration with South Yorkshire Futures and the Inspiring the Future scheme, the Sheffield City Region recently launched the Talent Bank programme, connecting young people at schools and colleges with inspirational volunteers from the private sector. More than 4,000 people are also now taking part in our Working Win health-led employment trial, one of just two research trials of its type in the country, which is exploring innovative ways to help those who are struggling with long term unemployment to find, secure and stay in work. Improving how we get around, too, is crucial. For the first time, I’ve ensured we

now have a South Yorkshire transport strategy that ties into a pan-Northern strategy – with a bold vision for how we can build a transport system fit for the 21st century. I believe people in South Yorkshire should be able to walk, cycle, drive or use public transport from their home to their nearest town centre in no more than 15 minutes. People should be able to travel between the town and city centres of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield in no more than 30 minutes, and should be able to travel to at least four other major cities within 75 minutes. Active travel – by which I mean walking, cycling and public transport – is key to this vision. Through active travel schemes we want to improve people’s health,




the environment and tackle congestion. I’ve appointed Britain’s most successful female Paralympian, Dame Sarah Storey, as our Active Travel Commissioner; I’ve put forward an ambitious £220m Transforming Cities Fund bid for transport funding with Active Travel at its heart; and I’m championing our case in Westminster – using my position as Mayor and as MP to tell Government what needs to be done to make Active Travel the norm, not the exception. Lots has been done. But there’s lots more to do. To deliver transformational change on the scale that is required we need a longterm plan and a rebalance of powers, with decision-making firmly devolved to those regional leaders who know


their communities and their businesses best. For too long, there has been a deep sense of frustration that communities outside of London and the South East have not seen their fair share of funding, powers and resources – and the Northern Powerhouse agenda, introduced five years ago, hasn’t succeeded in changing things for the better. Figures released by the IPPR revealed that pay in the North has risen by just £12 a week, compared to £19 nationally, and the number of jobs paid less than the living wage has risen by 150,000. Answers to rebalancing the economy don’t lie in Westminster and Whitehall, but with Metro Mayors across England and with those leaders who know their communities best.

I’m also looking to the future by working closely with the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to develop the Sheffield City Region’s new Strategic Economic Plan

It is only with greater powers and responsibilities can we ensure that investment is made where we know it will make the greatest impact. That’s why I am working with other Metro Mayors, including Manchester’s and Liverpool’s, to argue for fairer allocation of funding across Britain’s regions, and I continue to make the case for the Government to speed up investment from the long announced UK Shared Prosperity Fund. This is Government’s proposed replacement for European funding streams once these come to an end. Government needs to take the issue of regional inequality in our country seriously. Only when this happens will the gap between London and the rest of the UK begin to close.





DS CREATIVE DS Creative has been helping businesses to attract more customers for more than a decade, working with clients including Pricecheck, Pinders, HSBC, Novotel and the NHS. Here the team of graphic designers, website designers and developers, marketeers and print professionals talk Sheffield’s ‘community spirit’ and the company’s ‘substantial’ growth plans The business was inspired by... Not wanting to be restricted by hierarchies. Working for other people and realising we could do the same – and offer a better and more streamlined service. The best thing about running the business is… The flexibility of doing what we want and taking the business in the direction we think best. The excitement of getting new orders in and seeing the business grow. Employing young apprentices and seeing them grow and gain new skills before moving on – developing people and moving them forward. The three words that best describe the business are… Great customer service! Sheffield City Region is a great place to start a business because... There’s great community spirit thanks to the ‘large village’ concept. It’s a nice, friendly city – it’s not insular. Sheffield City Region is a great place to grow a business because… The region itself including Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster means we are close to a big customer area plus the location means we are also very close to other populated cities like Nottingham, Leeds and Manchester. It means we are only a 45 minute car journey



away from being able to meet clients face-to-face, create new contacts and network. The best advice? Never give up. In business you will hit brick walls frequently. Keep going and climb over them. The worst advice? Don’t start a business and just continue with your career part time, rather than take a risk

and give your business 100 per cent. The organisations that have supported the business include… Apprenticeship companies in Sheffield have been really useful. We have taken on apprentices in web design, digital marketing and graphic design and while they have helped us build the business, we have helped upskill them in return which is very rewarding.

The main challenges facing our industry/sector are… Large internet presence – the need to move online and into digital for everything. The changing market. Increasing competition. In 5 years’ time the business will… Have grown substantially across all three areas we trade in – graphic design, web design, and print.






Sheffield City Region entrepreneurs, start-ups and businesses are being encouraged to apply to take part in an intensive business programme of development and one-to-one mentoring The Y-Accelerator programme is offering the city region’s business leaders of tomorrow the exclusive opportunity to benefit from a 12-week, fasttrack development package and will see participants take advantage of expert advice and mentoring, access to a network of industry experts and specialist workshops. Concluding the 12-week project, which runs from October 2019 to January 2020, each business or entrepreneur will have the opportunity to pitch their idea to an audience of potential investors. UK Steel Enterprise is offering a £1,000 prize to the best pitch on the night. Led by business experts from both the public and private sector, the project is facilitated in partnership by Rotherham Investment and Development Office (RiDO) and a resident entrepreneur from Sheffield engineering organisation Gripple Ltd. on behalf of the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub. The businesses chosen to take part will have a bespoke programme of one-to-one support designed for them, delivered on a part time basis. Businesses will also benefit from a series of informative workshop style session delivered by industry specialists. Applications will be open until 15th September, when the Y-Accelerator team will select 10 projects to join the programme.



They will be supported in building a strong customer proposition and financial model, as well as learning to effectively communicate their business value to potential customers and investors. Gordon McRae, special projects manager at Gripple, said: “We are really excited to be involved in the Y-Accelerator for the third time. With a strong aim to create and strengthen new businesses for the economic benefit of the region, Y-Accelerator will work hard to provide specialist workshops and expertise for people in a completely tailored way. “The programme is a fantastic chance to not only gain specialist business expertise, but an opportunity to really take advantage of in-house advice,

a strong network of industry contacts and experience of creating a strong business model. “If you or your team have an innovative idea and have an aspiration to build a strong new business in the Sheffield City Region, then we want to hear from you. We’re looking for all stages of applicants – students, employed or unemployed people are all encouraged to apply – it’s the idea and ambition that counts.” Amanda Parris, business growth manager for RiDO, said: “The Y-Accelerator programme is a truly fantastic, unique initiative and we offer a very bespoke package for the people we work with. As well as a great idea, we want to work with people who think differently and who will

soak up our specialist advice to create a viable, scalable business. “People from all industry sectors are encouraged to apply, although logistics, manufacturing, and automation are especially of interest. We are delighted to run the programme for the sixth time, and we are looking forward to working with some more exciting businesses.” The Y-Accelerator 2019/20 is inviting applications until 15th September through the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub portal. For more information, please email: growthhub@, visit or call 0333 000 0039.


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DAWSON RADFORD Dawson Radford founder Jo Dawson tells us why the ‘genuine helpfulness of local people’ in Sheffield City Region has supported her in starting her ‘professional, straight-talking, fun’ firm I was inspired to start my business by... A need to provide my clients with the level of service they deserved. I was seeing an increased disparity between the service which could be offered, and the need to drive profits, against how my clients actually wanted to be treated. I decided the only way to control this was to set up my own practice to provide that service. My favourite thing about running my business is… Being able to make decisions. Don’t get me wrong, it can sometimes be lonely being the sole decision maker – but the ability to make a decision there and then, without months of partner or director meetings, vastly outweighs that. If we need to do something, we think about it, and then implement. The three words that best describe my business are… Professional, straight-talking, fun. Sheffield City Region is a great place to start a business because… Of the number of organisations available to offer help and advice. I remember sitting down with someone from the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub and being amazed not only by the knowledge they had, but the number or organisations they could signpost me to. Sheffield City Region is a great place to grow a business because… Of the genuine helpfulness of local people. Being born



and raised in Sheffield, this didn’t come as too much as a surprise, but other people’s willingness to help and see other people get on is something I will always be grateful for. People going out of their way to help others will never get old. The best advice I ever got was… Never ask anyone to do anything you’re not willing to do yourself. The worst advice I ever got was… Don’t set up a new business, don’t employ staff, don’t get your own premises – the list goes on!

The organisations that have supported me and my business include … Our clients. Our clients are our best advertisers, and them taking the time to recommend and refer to us is a great source of new business for us. Plus, it reassures me that we’re doing something right. The main challenges facing my industry/sector are … In my experience, a lack of lawyers! This might seem odd, but trying to find good lawyers who want to work in Sheffield remains a challenge, particularly for smaller firms like us. The best people are

those who either grew up or went to university here, but on a recent recruitment drive I still had real difficulty finding people with the expertise I wanted. I have therefore decided to grow my own. In 5 years’ time I expect my business to … Be well recognised as a specialist corporate/ commercial law firm. We will be well-known for the high level of service we provide, and the good work we do, both in the Sheffield region and beyond. Clients will want to come to us, and we will recruit and retain good quality lawyers.





Time is money, as the adage goes. That’s true in many business situations – but perhaps today more than ever when it comes to internet connectivity. Every time an employee loses connection, even for a few minutes, it can be costly. Multiply this across the workforce and it’s not hard to see how it all adds up in terms of time and money, even for the smallest of SMEs. As Exa Networks business development manager Mark


Booth explains: “You can’t plan for down time and there’s so many associated costs to an outage, from an unproductive workforce to being unable to access files and documents – because everything is cloud based – and failing to meet deadlines. “That email that was never received could be an order and lead to unhappy customers who go elsewhere. And so of course it’s even more of a concern to people running e-commerce businesses.

The UK is lagging behind other countries in broadband speed and connectivity league tables. Jill Theobald spoke to Exa Networks’ Mark Booth to find out how their unique dedicated network can offer businesses unlimited capability – and how they’re helping firms access funding for installation

“In today’s workplace everyone has multiple devices, too – perhaps two phones, laptop and tablet all on one desk. “That’s before you get into cyber security situations when people’s systems are shutdown and they are blackmailed to pay a sum to get back online. Businesses have a choice – do we pay up or do we go to when we last backed up and take the hit on everything that has been lost since? Either way it’s costly.

“Most systems don’t have enough capacity to back up simultaneously while people are online and working – most don’t have the capacity to even back up daily, which is why businesses used to back up over night at the end of every working week.” Fortunately, there are emerging programmes aiming to spread ultrafast fibre connectivity across the UK, and Exa are playing their part. “There are varying types of connectivity,” explains


FEATURE Mark. “First, the old-fashioned ADSL line that enables data transmission over copper wires – one of the main reasons we are lagging behind as a country is because we still use the decades-old copper lines originally installed for telephones. This is so detrimental to business, because in the years since users have required much betterperforming connectivity – these days upload speeds are as important for businesses as download speeds. “Next, there is FTTC which is based on a combination of fibre optic cable and copper cable, and then - full fibre, which uses fibre-optic cables, replacing the old copper connections completely. “Overall, fibre rollouts create a major economic improvement whilst also giving users access to an ever-developing range of digital services. “A lot of people think all providers offer the same service, but this isn’t true. Exa own and run their own network, unlike a lot of vendors out there who resell another ISPs’ products. By doing this, Exa retain complete control over the network, meaning they have ultimate flexibility in what they can offer customers.


“This paved the way for the DarkLight product, the so-called ‘last internet connection you’ll ever need’. This flexibility is certainly evident in DarkLight, where customers can increase their bandwidth, when needed, for short or long periods, for example if a company is running a conference, they can boost their bandwidth from say 300Mbps all the way to 1Gbps, just for the week. “Offering that flexibility is unique to us. Most businesses don’t know what their need will be in the next six months let alone three years but are signing up to long-term internet contracts. “We provide DarkLight users with a minimum 300Mbps performance, which is scalable to 10Gbps from day one. The same fibre has been proven to carry 5.6Tbps under test conditions – a level of speed no business will need to use for years (possibly decades) to come. Another reason why we are future-proof – and proof that DarkLight really is ‘the last internet connection you’ll ever need’!” Exa are encouraging businesses to switch to full fibre connections with the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme – a Government initiative to drive

A lot of people think all providers offer the same service, but this isn’t true. Exa own and run their own network, unlike a lot of vendors out there who re-sell another ISPs’ product

nationwide full fibre broadband coverage by 2033 across Britain. The £2,500 voucher contributes to the installation cost of a full fibre, gigabit capable connection. Mark said: “We worked with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on how the scheme would work and the funding allocated. Now it has launched we are helping to remove the red tape involved for interested customers by working on their behalf to check eligibility against the government criteria and then put them forward for consideration. “Installation costs can be expensive for some businesses, so the voucher aims to help with that. “But time is money, too. Once installed, businesses won’t need to shop around for a new internet provider every year. “With our speeds they can rely on back-ups every second and because DarkLight is future-proof they can remove many barriers to growth – no matter what size they become the capacity and connectivity will be there.” 0345 145 1234


Your monthly guide to what’s on in Sheffield





HALLAM BARBELL CLUB Dave Hembrough tells us how a combination of Sheffield’s rich sporting heritage and the entrepreneurial spirit he inherited from his dad inspired him to start his ‘disruptive, novel and social’ club I was inspired to start Hallam Barbell Club by... My dad who owned kitchen, bathroom and soft furnishing stores when I was growing up. He had the entrepreneurial spirit and I must have inherited it. I was also inspired into action out of frustration from being constrained by being managed in a job. I wanted to have my own income and project to manage without being told what to do. That freedom is a blessing and also a challenge. My favourite thing about running Hallam Barbell Club is… The people and the difference our programmes make. This includes our members who train and exercise with us, and also our staff and volunteers, too. Hallam Barbell is a sports club which essentially sells membership services through different programmes that are suited to different people. People are the cogs that make the machine go round and to see them happy and thriving is very satisfying. The three words that best describe Hallam Barbell Club are… Disruptive, novel, social. Sheffield City Region is a great place to start Hallam Barbell Club because… It’s a growing and diverse region, with a rich sporting heritage. With the likes of the English Institute of Sport and the Advanced Wellness Research Centre, as well as businesses like Sport:80, there’s focus on elite performance in this great sporting city. But more than this, initatives such as MoveMore and the work of Big Brother Burngreave, means community-focused



The best advice I ever got was… Move fast and break stuff.

activity create opportunities for collaboration and shared learnings. Sheffield City Region is a great place to grow Hallam Barbell Club because… When you get a proud sporting city taking a system-wide approach to increasing activity levels, you get momentum rubbing alongside competition. You strive to do more, do better and provide more opportunities for the communities you work with. This certainly is true for Hallam Barbell. We’re always looking at new programmes which we know will add value – whether that be expanding our women’s Powerbelle programme to support female cancer survivors, or looking at ways to introduce new generations to strength training through Hallam Barbell Bears. My experience is that people in this city are willing to help, support and will embrace new ways of doing things. You have to work hard but the success makes it worthwhile.

You strive to do more, do better and provide more opportunities for the communities you work with

The worst advice I ever got was… Buy Northern Rock, banks are a safe bet. The organisations that have supported me and Hallam Barbell Club include … Business Sheffield, Knowles Warwick, Wosskow Brown, Millichamp. The main challenges facing my industry/sector are… Regulation, quality control and training/certification. Perceived value by a wide (new) customer segment. Internet gurus and online experts. In 5 years’ time I expect Hallam Barbell Club to… Have grown (a lot). We’ll be delivering more programmes to more people in more places and positively affecting more lives. This will include national and international reputation and a certification programme to licence instructors and coaches.







SEE THE LIGHT Sheffield’s sell-out fireworks and lighting extravaganza is set to illuminate the city skies when the event returns this autumn Illuminate the Gardens is back with a bang at the Botanical Gardens over three nights from 1 to 3 November 2019. Organised by Events Collective – the team behind Sheffield’s prestigious Food Festival – the popular annual display will provide light relief from the dark winter skies. An estimated 15,000 visitors are expected to flock to the English Heritage Grade II gardens for the familyfriendly event which includes: • Early evening, low bangs fireworks display designed for sensitive ears • Explosive main fireworks display • Laser light show above the Grade II Glass Pavilion • Unique lighting displays showcasing the Garden’s stunning features Bob Worm, from Events Collective, said: “This a magical night out for the whole family, where you can enjoy some delicious street food and locally produced drinks, watch mesmerising fire performance and hear some great live music. We will also be putting on a range of child-friendly activities such as vintage fayre rides. “In 2018, there were 15,000 tickets available across the three nights and the event completely sold out in advance and our super early bird deal was snapped up in less than 24 hours.

This demonstrates the incredible popularity and huge appeal of this unique event amongst all ages.” Illuminate the Gardens has been designed and built around four key themes: Family Friendly, Tasteful, Value for Money and Local and Sustainable. The 2019 event will feature: • Children’s meal and drink options and activities • Stylish and high-quality stalls • Low cost street food options, activities without additional charge and entertainment included in ticket price. • Local companies to reduce environmental impact and contribute to the local community

Events Collective has more than 20 years’ experience delivering events of all shapes and sizes, including woodland weddings, corporate functions, sporting events and festivals of arts, culture and food. As well as launching the successful new Illuminate the Gardens event in November 2017, the company was awarded the contract for the overall management of Sheffield Food Festival. Bob added: “Events Collective has a strong trackrecord in delivering major events across the country. We are incredibly proud to be bringing Illuminate the Gardens back to the Botanical Gardens in Sheffield for

the third year running. It’s a completely unique event which is becoming a mustattend occasion for families across the city. “The venue is a stunning place to host our magical fireworks and lighting displays. There is a real buzz about this event. Everyone wants to be a part of it.” And you can see your name in lights at the event in 2019. Illuminate the Gardens offers a range of sponsorship opportunities to help you build your business and increase your reach, through promoting products and services, engaging with existing and potential customers and by making direct sales. A number of limited-offer sponsorship packages are now available including exclusive headline sponsor, key event sponsors, bar sponsors and art installation sponsor. All sponsorship opportunities can be tailored to suit the needs of individual businesses. For more information about the event or sponsorship opportunities visit www. illuminatethegardens., illuminatethegardens, Or call Bob Worm on 07916 151 704 or email eventscollectiveltd@gmail. com







After a long working day, there’s always Happy Hour to look forward to. What’s better than that? COCKTAIL TIME, of course! David Craig gets shaken and stirred at a few of the choice venues Sheffield has to offer 74




Public Address: Surrey Street, Sheffield S1 2LG Opening Times: Mon-Thu: 4pm-12am Fri: 4pm-1am Sat: 12pm-1am Sun: Closed Social Media: Twitter: @P_U_B_L_I_C_ Instagram: @p_u_b_l_i_c_ About: Public has quickly established itself as one of the most unique bar experiences in the city. The innovative owners transformed a disused gents’ toilets under the Town Hall into a luxurious place to enjoy a refreshing beverage. So much so, that the venue was named Best Place to Drink in the Observer Food Monthly Awards 2018. The Botanist Address: Unit 5A & 5B Leopold Square, Sheffield S1 2JG Opening Times: Sun-Wed: 12pm-12am Thu: 12pm-1am Fri-Sat: 12pm-2am Social Media: Facebook: @BotanistSheffield Twitter: @thebotanistuk Instagram: @thebotanistuk About: This Leopold Square favourite has built a reputation for their interesting cocktails that experiment with natural juices and flavours. Those looking for a drink with a distinctly fruity punch need look no further, while the venue also boasts live music and a beautiful décor inspired by the modern botanical garden.


The Wick at Both Ends Address: 149-151 West Street, Sheffield S1 4EW Opening Times: Sun-Wed: 12pm-2am Thu-Sat: 12pm-3am Social Media: Facebook: @TheWickAtBothEnds Twitter: @WickAtBothEnds Instagram: @thewicksheffield About: The Wick at Both Ends stands out as a venue slightly removed from the general chaos of a night on West Street. The bar serves up a delicious and varied list of cocktails, with an extended happy hour taking place between 5 and 9pm o’clock on weekdays. The “Not for Kids” selection is filled with unique treats, featuring an array of sweet flavours sure to recall your misspent youth. Kuckoo Address: Leopold Square, 7a Leopold Street, Sheffield S1 2GY Opening Times: Sun-Wed: 6pm-12am Thu: 6pm-1am Fri-Sat: 5pm-2am Social Media: Facebook: @KuckooSheffield Twitter: @KuckooRocks Instagram: @KuckooRocks About: With its slick bright red interior, Kuckoo makes a big impression from the moment you step through the door. That only continues after a glimpse at their expansive cocktail list, which includes

both original creations and fresh takes on older drinks (which the menu sassily refers to as “Bastardised Classics”). Our Jill Theobald is a fan of the drinks and the tunes (indie/ rock – there’s a portrait of Dave Grohl as Jesus by the entrance) although on one visit she did set a napkin alight with one of the flaming cocktails… thanks again to the quick skills of the bartender for averting disaster! The Great Gatsby Address: 73-75 Division Street, Sheffield S1 4GE Opening Times: Sun-Thu: 12pm-2am Fri-Sat: 12pm-3am Social Media: Facebook: @GatsbySheffield Twitter: @GatsbySheffield Instagram: @GatsbySheffield About: This stylish bar on the corner of Division Street offers a nice selection of cocktails, including our own Phil Turner’s favourite – Amaretto Sour. Some are quite amusingly titled – be sure to take full advantage of the comedic potential while ordering at the bar. Happy Hour is between 4pm and 7pm on weekdays and all day long on Sundays – it is a day of rest after all. The Forum Address: 129 Devonshire Street, Sheffield S3 7SB Opening Times: Mon-Thu: 10am-12am Fri: 10am-2am

Sat: 10am-3am Sun: 10am-11pm Social Media: Facebook: @ForumSheffield Twitter: @ForumSheffield Instagram: @TheForumSheffield About: Perfectly located right next to Devonshire Green, the Forum is a great place to go on a warm summer’s evening. Order one of the classic cocktails on offer and take a seat in the generous outdoor seating area. What better way to cap off another successful day? Picture House Social Address: 383 Abbeydale Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield S7 1FS Opening Times: Mon-Wed: 4pm-11:30pm Thu: 4pm-12am Fri: 4pm-1am Sat: 12pm-1am Sun: 12pm-12am Social Media: Facebook: @PictureHouseSoc Twitter: @PicHouseSocial Instagram: @picture_house_social About: Based in the historic Abbeydale Picture House, these cocktails are awardwinning and show charming attention to detail – what else would you expect from the owners of Public? A selection of the cocktails on offer are inspired by the favourite flavours of local Sheffield businesses, with happy hour between 5-7pm from Monday to Thursday.








Bamboo Door Address: Leopold Square, Sheffield S1 2JG Opening Times: Mon-Wed: 5pm-12am Thu: 5pm-2am Fri: 4pm-2am Sat: 1pm-2am Sun: 1pm-12am Social Media: Facebook: @BambooDoor About: With its Tiki bar aesthetic, Bamboo Door is yet another Sheffield drinking spot that provides visual treats as well as the alcoholic kind. There’s a range of cocktails to choose from and occasionally whole themed nights based around them. Most recently, they held an evening to celebrate National Pineapple Day full of drinks made using everyone’s favourite prickly fruit.

Revolucion de Cuba Address: 1 Mappin Street, Sheffield S1 4DT Opening Times: Sun-Thu: 11am-1am Fri-Sat: 11am-2am Social Media: Facebook: @RevolucionDeCuba Twitter: @DeCubaSheffield Instagram: @revdecubasheffield About: Hidden just a little off West Street, there lies a little slice of Cuba housed in a converted old tram shed. Revolucion De Cuba is a large bar and restaurant that serves up some delicious cocktails, many (but not all) being rum-based creations. Personal recommendation goes to the Strawberry Daiquiri, which is the alcohol infused slushy you never knew you wanted.

Soyo Address: 117 Rockingham Street, Sheffield S1 4EB Opening Times: Sun-Tues: Closed Wed: 8pm-2:30am Thu: 9pm-2:30am Fri-Sat: 8pm-3am Social Media: Facebook: @SoyoSheffield Twitter: @SOYOSheffield Instagram: @SoyoSheffield About: Soyo is a fun and brightly coloured venue that blurs the line between bar and club. Their collection of wellmade cocktails makes them a nice place to enjoy a drink in the early evening, while those who want to stay out late will find a large dancefloor on which to boogie the night away.

Slug & Lettuce Address: 18 Holly Street, Sheffield S1 2GT Opening Times: Mon-Wed: 9am-12am Thu: 9am-1am Fri: 9am-2am Sat: 9am-3am Sun: 11am-11pm Social Media: Facebook: @SlugandLettuceSheffield Instagram: @SlugSheffield About: Sheffield’s newly opened Slug & Lettuce branch is a nice new venue in the heart of the city centre. Alongside a classic cocktail menu, they also offer a self-proclaimed cocktail “masterclass” that can be booked in advance to get you mixing beverages yourself. Give someone a cocktail and they’ll


drink for a day, teach someone to make cocktails and they can drink for a lifetime! Inspiring. Turtle Bay Address: Unit 2, NUM Building, 18 Holly Street, Sheffield S1 2GT Opening Times: Sun-Wed: 11:30am-11pm Thu: 11:30am-12am Fri-Sat: 11:30am-1am Social Media: Facebook: @TurtleBayRestaurants Twitter: @TurtleBayUK Instagram: @TurtleBayUK About: The Caribbean themed restaurant and bar has some delicious tropical cocktail offerings and an ambitious Happy ‘Hour’ that runs from 11:30am until 7pm and starts again at 10pm right up until close. The Koko Kolada is definitely a highlight, a delicious coconutty treat for fans of the divisive drupe. Bloo 88 Address: 182 West Street, Sheffield S1 4ET Opening Times: Sun-Tues: 12pm-12am Wed-Thu: 12pm-1am Fri-Sat: 12pm-2am Social Media: Facebook: @Bloo88 Twitter: @Bloo88sheffield Instagram: @bloo88sheffield About: With its retro interior within a converted pub, Bloo 88 vividly stands out from the other bars on West Street. They also offer a cocktail masterclass and have a private party room that fits up to 20 people. Pop in between 4:30pm and 9:30pm to enjoy an extended Happy

Hour and maybe even one of their reputable pizzas. Cubana Address: Unit 4, Leopold Street, Sheffield S1 2GT Opening Times: Mon-Thu: 4pm-12am Fri-Sat: 12pm-2am Sun: 12pm-12am Social Media: Facebook: @CubanaTapasBar Twitter: @CubanaTapasBar Instagram: @CubanaTapasBar About: Another great outlet to be found in Leopold Square, Cubana is a cocktail bar bursting with Latin culture from the cuisine right down to the music. Get there before 6pm to enjoy discounted prices and be sure to try some of their authentic tapas with your beverage. Revolution Address: The Plaza, Fitzwilliam Street, Sheffield S1 4JL Opening Times: Mon-Wed: 12pm-12:30am Thu-Fri: 12pm-1am Sat: 11am-1am Sun: 11am-12:30am Social Media: Facebook: @revolution.sheffield Twitter: @RevSheff Instagram: @revolutionsheffield About: Revolution is another superbly versatile venue. Alongside a fantastic selection of cocktails (which are two for one before 7pm, Sunday to Friday), they also have a delicious food menu to choose from. Get there earlier for a relaxing drink and bite, or later to see the lights go down and the music go up.







ESCAPES Fancy winding down away from the world of work and chilling out in the countryside? Jill Theobald stayed at an Air B&B with a difference – a converted 17th century church in the heart of Yorkshire

There are rooms with a view. And then there’s Eagles Retreat at All Hallows – which contains a bedroom with an approximately 10ft stainedglass window.


‘Wow’ is the common reaction when guests step into the converted 17th century church on a hill in the heart of Yorkshire and glimpse the focal point.

Billed on its Air B&B listing as an ‘idyllic one-of-a-kind rural retreat’, my partner and I arrived at Eagles Retreat looking to swap the city for the countryside for 24 hours.

And we got just that – ‘the perfect sanctuary’ Air B&B ‘superhosts’ Christina and Jasper Hodges had promised at their deconsecrated chapel in High Hoyland, near Barnsley.





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The best views are from the top of the tower, but a short stroll through the churchyard takes you out to a lovely bench overlooking gorgeous green fields and trees...

We stayed in the back apartment (you can also hire the tower at the other end of the building as well) with the chapel’s vaulted, beamed ceiling high above, kipping on what was presumably the altar originally. Aside from the amazing stained-glass window above the bed, we had a small living area with easy chairs and a TV (with Netflix) and a kitchen area with cooker, washing machine, fridge and plenty of snacks as well as supplies for breakfast. Continental breakfast is included but pay a little extra to get the cooked breakfast – it was well worth it! Sausages and bacon were from Cannon Hall Farm – the tourist attraction not far from All Hallows – and the meat was delicious. Best bacon butty I’ve had in a long while. (The milk was also from Nether End Farm in nearby Denby Dale, and the locally sourced supplies were a really nice touch). Behind the church’s wooden panel walls was the bathroom – which brought you back into the modern age after catching sight of the jacuzzi bath. Bubble-tastic and very relaxing. The views outside the room were pretty amazing, too.


The best views are from the top of the tower, but a short stroll through the churchyard takes you out to a lovely bench overlooking gorgeous green fields and trees – and, very far off in the distance, bustling Barnsley. Eagles Retreat is also close to country footpaths, quaint shops and pubs and fascinating places to visit including Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the aforementioned Cannon Hall Farm. But we decided we wanted 24 hours away from everything, packed the car with grub and grog and ventured no further than the courtyard area in the afternoon – where I got through an entire library book in the sunshine – rustling up a quick evening meal in the cosy little kitchen and eating al fresco before decamping to the bench for some sunset and evening drinks. And peace and quiet! I turned my mobile off and really felt like we were getting back to nature and simplicity just for a few hours. Of course, the minute we were back in Sheffield I was posting on Instagram – well, I had to share the highlights of our heavenly visit!

Burning out? Turn to Tina Tina is not just an Air B&B superhost – she’s also the founder of Transformation Is For All, a not-for-profit social enterprise where she is a coach, speaker, mentor and offers coaching and training as well as spiritual direction so people can be their ‘best self, whether at work, in life or relationships’. Tina and her team specialise in bespoke ‘flexible and intuitive’ coaching and training and visitors to All Hallows can also book on to these sessions. A lot of people who have been through personal trauma – loss of a relative, redundancy, relationship breakdown, illness or health issues – use Tina’s coaching. The Couples/Marriage Retreats are also very popular both with couples ‘wanting to make a good marriage great’, as well as couples who find life challenging. But her coaching skills are also being increasingly called upon by businesspeople facing burn-out. “We have definitely seen an increase in people from different areas like sales and PR to social workers and people from a military background,” said Tina. “We have people who use the retreat because of that inability to switch off and say they wish they could stay longer but the reality is two or three days are the maximum they feel they can take off from work. And even then, we have to ensure we have good Wi-Fi because some still want to check in with the office. “With the economy the way it is at the moment – people on zero hours contracts or worried about not responding to that email that was sent out of work hours – there have been a lot of changes in society and expectations are high. It’s no wonder people are facing burn-out and are falling ill more often. “No matter what the reasons for visiting, our goal is for people to use the space to find peace, and support and to feel restored and refreshed.”



SPORTING SHEFFIELD 14,000 With Sheffield United marking their return to the top tier of English football this month and a packed sporting events schedule planned for the rest of 2019, we’re putting the spotlight on Sheffield and sport. Check out unLTD’s number crunch facts and figures which highlight why Sheffield is still THE city of sport. World Snooker Championships hosted at The Crucible since 1977 brings




During the 2012 Olympics 101 athletes trained, were from or lived in Sheffield, 16 of them won medals

runners take part in five parkruns every week

The birthplace of football – the world’s first football club formed in 1857 –



Named the first UK National City of Sport in


FOOTBALL TEAMS IN SHEFFIELD Since 1991 Sheffield has hosted more than...




The amount of people the city will be exposed to through TV coverage of Premier League Sheffield United

including 40 world championships

More than

120 ELITE £39.8 MILLION Over the last three years Sheffield has invested

in major new sports facilities


SPORTSMEN AND WOMEN are currently training in Sheffield for Tokyo 2020



EAT . DRINK . DANCE CUBANATAPASBAR.CO.UK Call 01142 760475 unLTDBUSINESS.COM Cubana_Logo_Advert_Exposed_ARTWORK.indd 1

28/08/2018 10:02


Profile for unLTD magazine

unLTD. Connecting business across Sheffield City Region #16  

unLTD. Connecting business across Sheffield City Region #16