Derek is hailed a heritage ‘hero’ for factory campaign

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One of the driving forces behind the campaign to save and revive a historic Sheffield factory as a base for craftspeople, artists and musicians has been honoured nationally for his voluntary efforts.

Derek Morton, who formerly chaired the community organisation that bought Portland Works in Randall Street, off Bramall Lane, received a ‘Heroes’ award from Loyd Grossman, chairman of the Heritage Alliance, at a ceremony in London.

The honour gives particular recognition to the achievements of Derek in leading the team through the complicated process of sales negotiations.

He said: “It has been an honour to lead this group from 2009 to 2013 and to rescue a fine iconic Sheffield building through community purchase.  We are now defining a future for the works in manufacturing, supporting traditional crafts and promoting creative industries. The renovation may have only just begun, but we are definitely on our way.”

The campaign to revive Portland Works, a grade II listed building built in 1877, and the first place in the world to manufacture stainless steel cutlery, now has almost 500 members with community shares. At one stage, it was feared the building would be turned into flats.