Buy-out at top design business

Moving on: Mike and Janice Murphy have sold leading Sheffield design and marketing company MM Design.
Moving on: Mike and Janice Murphy have sold leading Sheffield design and marketing company MM Design.
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Leading design and marketing company MM Design has been sold by the husband and wife team that founded it Sheffield 32 years ago.

The company, created by Mike and Janice Murphy, has been bought by managing director Tim Richardson, who will be joined by another long-standing MM Design employee, Martin Hinchliffe.

Tim Richardson said: “I can’t think of another design practice that’s been around as long as MMD.

“The secret of its success is that we’ve worked with the very best companies in Sheffield who have remained loyal over the years. It was an obvious move for me to buy the business where I’ve spent most of my working life.”

Founders Mike and Janice Murphy met at British Steel, where they spent seven years working on international marketing campaigns before deciding to go it alone, setting MMD up during the 1980s, when the region was hit hard by job cuts and closures.

“It was a difficult start but we battled on and here we are 32 years later. It just goes to show anything’s possible whatever the financial climate,” says Mike.

During their years running MMD, the duo bought Brookfield Manor Training Centre from their old employers, British Steel, and later sold it to Sir Hugh Sykes. They started a film production company, QL Film and TV, and were the first independent producers to be commissioned to make a one-hour documentary for the BBC. Mike was also a governor at Chesterfield College for many years.

The pair now plan to develop a property business.

“We started to buy property years ago both in the UK and the Caribbean. It’s been very busy but we’ve had a lot of fun doing it,” says Mike. “We are not ready to retire just yet, we love our sailing and have lots of trip planned for 2013.”