Friends of Portland Works
Friends of Portland Works is a registered charity committed to supporting the on-going efforts to protect and renovate this historic Sheffield building that saw the first commercial use of stainless steel in 1914.
Following the purchase of this former cutlery works, Friends of Portland Works was formed in 2015 to raise funds for the extensive renovation needed to ensure the future of the building as a place of work and educational resource. We are registered with the Charity Commission as Charitable Incorporated Organisation number 116064.
The Works, which is a grade 2* listed building, has been sadly neglected until recently, for over 50 years. We aim to attract donations from commercial companies, charitable organisations and private individuals that can be used for the necessary upgrading work, so the structure is sound, and the premises meet current standards.
Opened in 1879, the building is one of the last remaining working examples of a purpose-built metal trades factory. Since 2013 it has been owned and managed by Portland Works Little Sheffield Ltd, an Industrial and Provident Society. Now over 30 businesses are based there, and there is a waiting list of potential new tenants. A strong ethos of ‘making’ among the tenant community reflects the history of the works.
We regularly support tours of the works which can be booked via Portland Works website above and we organise a lecture series which are advertised via our website https://friendsofportlandworks.org
Portland Works is often referred to as the birthplace of stainless steel cutlery manufacturing. It was built in Sheffield in 1879 and is now one of the last remaining working examples of a purpose built metal trades factory. Following a half-century of neglect, the building was purchased in 2013 by a social enterprise comprising more than 500 community shareholders who, having saved it from residential conversion, are now undertaking an extensive renovation.