Sheffield is a place where start-up independents have a chance. The people of Sheffield like the independent sector, and the rents are more reasonable, so there are opportunities in good locations. Being located within the theatre district has been a huge plus for us.
As an independent, Marmadukes has from day 1 worked with a wide variety of organisations, public and private. Generally, we have found all of them supportive and keen to help improve the underpinning city environment. I think this comes from a widely acknowledged acceptance that we need to and can do better and that we will achieve more because of that. We love Sheffield, its character and culture, but things still need to change. We need to be ambitious, individually and collectively.
In recent years, we've taken on two new leases, one in the Heart of the City on Cambridge Street and while the other has seen the transformation of the Old Sorting Office on Ecclesall Road. It’s a huge step forward for us and in large part its because we have faith in the long term future of our city. It’s on the up and with help the opportunities are boundless.
Growing up in a northeast Derbyshire mining village, Sheffield was our local city, where we went shopping. I witnessed its demise, but it feels great to be part of its renaissance. Some questioned our decision to open our first site right in the heart of the city, but we have never had any regrets. Being in the middle of such an exciting mix is a joy. I have met so many interesting people from such a diverse range of backgrounds. Rich and poor, young and old. I love to chat with customers particularly new ones and it never ceases to amaze me from how far and wide they have come. Our wonderful universities are in large part to thank for this.
I am so proud of the rich diversity of our employees and customer base. Sheffield is a city of sanctuary, it’s a city that cares, not just about its people, but the precious environment that sustains it. Its seven hills stand proudly around it allowing us to stand proud in the UK and the wider world.