A 15,200 sq ft Sheffield warehouse and office building, left empty after the failure of a decorating wholesaler, has been sold for £860,000 and is set to become a martial arts and dance academy.
Excel Martial Arts, headed up by Liam Richards, one half of the duo Strike who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2008, has bought Shield House on Holbrook Industrial Estate in Sheffield.
The family run business, which currently operates from two smaller bases at Holbrook, is to transform the new larger space, previously occupied by Shield Quality at Work, through a £250,000 refurbishment programme and is expected to create an additional 12 jobs.
Wake Smith Solicitors in Sheffield advised on the purchase of the new activity hub, also featuring a fitness centre, which will complete for a July 21 launch event. Charterfields acted as agents on the sale.
Martial arts expert and founder of Excel, Liam Richards, said: “We established our business at Holbrook in 2010 and have built up a loyal following with the local community.
“We already see around 700 martial arts, dance and fitness clients come through the doors a week, and we wanted to invest in the area and its people.
“It was the right time to buy the new building and create the academy. The new place is fantastic, but needs a lot of work to bring our ideas into reality.
“We are convinced that we can develop the club, encourage new membership, liaise with schools and make a real difference to the community.
“We have already started on that road with this investment and are hoping to expand our team from eight to 20 once our new academy is up and running. Our thanks goes to Wake Smith for helping make the purchase a smooth process.”
The new academy will offer martial arts and dance under one roof, improved areas for parents watching their children, daytime and evening classes for adults and youngsters from three years old, and greater convenience with additional parking.
Liam added: “We are passionate about the life changing benefits of martial arts. I believe these activities can help with confidence, provide focus during challenging times and help develop positive relationships.
“I feel very grateful to do what I do, and am very passionate about helping people live a happy and healthy life. I feel honoured to coach all of my students. People who come to the club say they feel part of a family and that the atmosphere is full of positive energy and support.”
Paul Gibbon, commercial property director at Wake Smith Solicitors, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the ambitious expansion plans of Excel. It was good to represent a young, dynamic business with such a great ethos around community, health and wellbeing. We wish him the best of luck for the future.”
Sheffield-based insolvency specialists Wilson Field appointed agents Charterfields to sell Shield House, which formerly belonged to long established family business Shield Quality at Work.
Ian Maycock of Charterfields said: “Shield House attracted significant interest, which demonstrates that there is strong demand for high-quality commercial units, despite the challenging market. It’s great to have found a buyer who can give the building a new lease of life, while helping to support local employment and creating a positive impact within the local community. We wish Liam and the team all the best with their future plans.”