“It’s great to see the city’s increasing investment”

Ashlea McConnell made the move up north to study English Literature at Sheffield Hallam University. She now lives in Rotherham with her family and is PR Director at MK Public Relations, a member of the recently formed Northern Communications Group, which is based in Sheffield.

Thursday, 6th June 2019, 10:18 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th June 2019, 3:55 pm
Ashlea McConnell, PR director at MK Public Relations

Sheffield Hallam and the University of Sheffield

As a Hallam graduate I fall into that category of ‘people who came, and never really left’. Aside from

a short stint down in Cambridgeshire I have been Sheffield based since I graduated in 2005 and still

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have a core group of friends which I made whilst studying.

The vast array of students that Sheffield attracts contributes to the city’s vibrancy and the pool of

talented young professionals is ever increasing!

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I used to attend with friends, then with my (now) husband, and in recent years I have taken my

children. Not many festivals that allow that sort of progression, and it provides a great boost for the

city centre economy, too.

Local press

I work in PR, so I suppose I should say that, but the press in Sheffield is just so different to other

media outlets across the country. They genuinely want to champion their own and, whilst they have

to report on the negative, there is a real interest in the success stories within the city – including

growing businesses, thriving communities and successful schools.

Meadowhall Shopping Centre – and shopping in general

A client of ours for many, many years, but also a great jewel in the Sheffield City Region

crown. Whilst creating jobs and providing access to some fantastic brands, Meadowhall puts

on regular events that are great for all the family and, most importantly, it’s a great place to shop –

with everything you could ever need housed under one roof, what more could you want?!

It’s also great to see increasing investment in the City Centre, and several great little out of town

retail parks popping up including the likes of Fox Valley and St James Retail Park.

The (rapidly improving) bar and restaurant scene

I can’t say it’s always been good, but it does seem to have grown up with me. There is

now something for everyone, from the ever evolving offering in Kelham Island which boasts Cutlery

Works, Kelham Kitchen and Peddler Night Market (amongst many others), to the recently

launched city centre venue Kommune, and when you want to treat yourself to something a little

fancier there is the likes of VeroGusto.

I’m particularly looking forward to the opening of Domo in Little Kelham which I think is going to

bring something quite unique to the City.

Sheffield Theatres

MKPR has been a proud corporate sponsor of Sheffield Theatres for a number of years and there is

no denying that it is a fantastic offering within the city. I regularly take my girls and have seen all

sorts from ballets to pantomimes and plays. The recent ‘Worst Witch’ play was a particular

favourite amongst the family, and the MK team enjoyed ‘Standing at the Sky’s Edge’ and ‘The Wizard

of Oz’!