We were contracted to help write, design and build a new online presence for this creative social enterprise. Having been saved by the local community from demolition, Portland Works had restored much of the building and needed to attract grant money and new tenants to secure it’s financial future.
We helped to position the ‘Works as one of the UK’s leading industrial heritage sites and place it on the radar of architectural charities and grant organisations. The website functions as a hub for the history and news archives and demonstrates the good governance in place. It drives and collects event bookings and tenant enquiries, sells merchandise and acts as a tool to generate charitable donations. It is also the centre of a new education and outreach programme designed to engage the local community.
About the Client
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.
The grade 2* listed building has been reborn as a centre for small manufacturing, independent artists and craftspeople, with more than 30 small businesses located within the 2600 square metre floor space.
This new website and revised positioning has helped Portland Works to capitalise on government and charitable grants totalling more than £100,000. The ‘Works also has a long waiting list for workshop spaces and is running a very successful lecture, art and event programme. Following the website launch, our lead consultant was invited to join the board and now acts as deputy chair for the organisation.