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60 Seconds to Save Portland Works!

Kiera Chapman | 07.03.2011 13:29 | Culture | Free Spaces | History | Sheffield

Sheffield's Portland Works is threatened with closure and conversion into flats. Here's how you can help!

As you may have heard, Sheffield's historic Portland Works is threatened
with closure and conversion into flats. This atmospheric metal trades
building, a grade II* listed building from the Victorian era, currently houses a thriving
collection of profitable and innovative local businesses. It is a place
where the boundaries between art, industry, and technology break down,
allowing Sheffield's manufacturing past to inspire its creative future.
Local artists rub shoulders with tool makers, heritage craftspeople ply
their trade next to businesses researching and developing new patents, and
the sound of local bands rehearsing mingles with the rasp of grinding

The proposal to convert Portland works into flats threatens a whole
traditional way of life. Conserving this place means more than preserving
its beautiful grade II* listed architectural fabric, which witnessed the
manufacture of the first stainless steel cutlery. It means defending jobs,
safeguarding traditional specialist skills so that they can be passed on
to new generations, and preserving continuity with Sheffield's proud
tradition of expert 'little mesters' who work in an enterprising,
sustainable, and fundamentally local way.

There is a viable and exciting alternative to flats on this site, an
option that seeks to conserve both the building's fabric and its use. The
Portland Works campaign, staffed by volunteers, aims to purchase the works
building with funds raised through a community share issue. Our aim is to
repair its fabric and to develop it as both a business cluster and a
community space. We have exciting plans to house new workshops for
artisans, create educational displays, build a community space, and run
events and schemes to help young people learn traditional skills.

However, to be able to achieve this, we first need to persuade Sheffield
City Council to reject the planning application to convert the building to

There are four things you can do to help:

1. Sign our online petition. It takes less than 60 seconds and it
REALLY helps!

2. Send an objection email to the council (we've created a template to
help you here:

3. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

4. We are issuing shares in the building in the near future. Why not consider becoming a shareholder, investing some money in a reliable, and ethical local project. Contact the Portland Works campaign for more information

Please help us to save this historic building.

Kiera Chapman
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