Sheffield solicitors Wake Smith has boosted its involvement in the further development of the city centre with the appointment of one its directors onto the board of ReNew Sheffield.
Commercial property director Lisa Davison has joined the board of the collaborative project, created by Sheffield City Council and the University of Sheffield, which aims to promote and support creative uses of empty buildings in Sheffield for pop-up shops and other start-up businesses.
Lisa brings more than ten years of commercial property advice and previous experience of meanwhile use to the project and positions Wake Smith on another strategic panel in Sheffield.
Fellow director John Baddeley was recently appointed on the board of the Sheffield Business Improvement District (BID) Company and director and Head of Commercial Property and Residential Conveyancing Neil Salter sits on the Sheffield Property and Regeneration Committee (SPARC).
Lisa Davison said: “The ReNew scheme is all about giving new, independent businesses the opportunity to test their ideas, trade in a city centre location and grow whilst at the same time enlivening the city’s streets especially in areas of transition which are suitable for meanwhile use.
“There can often seem to be many hurdles for new, starter businesses with regards to taking on a commercial property and this scheme helps take the stresses away from budding entrepreneurs and get their businesses off the ground.
“It has already attracted a great deal of interest from potential new businesses and I look forward to lending my expertise to the panel.”
ReNew Sheffield was inspired by a visit from regeneration expert Marcus Westbury of Renew Australia last year.
Since then, Sheffield City Council’s officers and councillors, and the university’s Office for City and Cultural Engagement and Schools of Law and Management have worked with the creative community offering mentoring, funding and help in finding vacant units.
The project is governed by a board made up of Sheffield City Council, property agents, The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) and chaired by Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Director of City and Cultural Engagement at the University of Sheffield. Additional funding has come from SHU, Sheffield University and the newly formed Sheffield BID.
ReNew Sheffield’s first pop-up shop opened in November 2015 and saw Rachel Salway launch her new Roseannah shop in a balcony unit at Orchard Square, just off Fargate.
Vanessa said: “The ReNew Sheffield project has grown out of the activity and passion of a number of local bodies and individuals who have been working in this capacity for several years. It works by building relationships between landlords, space holders and potential space users.
“We are delighted to welcome Lisa to the board and know her commercial property legal knowledge will prove invaluable to us.”
Other board members include Tracey Lancaster, Director of Corporate Affairs, Sheffield Hallam University; Richard Eyre, Head of City Centre Management and Major Events; Simon Ogden, Head of City Regeneration at Sheffield City Council; Amy Sutherland, City Centre Project Officer at Sheffield City Council; Paul Lancaster, Commercial Property Consultant and Sheffield City Council Business Rates representative; Kevin Bennett, Head of Enterprise at Creative Sheffield; councillor George Lindars-Hammond, Sheffield City Council and Diana Jarvis, BID manager from Sheffield BID.
The board is also supported by an advisory board of local experts and entrepreneurs in their field which provide support and mentoring opportunities to new businesses.