“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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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