When it opened in 1879, Portland Works’ workshops were filled with little mesters, specialist craftspeople each focussed on their own part of the cutlery making process. In 1913 it was the birthplace of stainless steel manufacturing, thanks to a breakthrough by metalworker Harry Brearley. Despite being the site of this landmark in Sheffield’s industrial timeline, by the early 2000s the place was partly crumbling and under threat of being turned into flats; thankfully in 2013 a determined group of tenants and their supporters raised enough to buy it, in one of the biggest community buyouts the country’s ever seen.
Today Portland Works keeps alive the city's heritage of making, with workshops filled with everything from knife makers to artists to gin distillers.
This year for Heritage Open Days, you have chance to take a tour both inside and out at Portland Works, to view the progress of restoration and repair and meet some of its tenants.
- Featured in
- Heritage Open Days picks