James’team in Great Escape

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There aren’t many managing directors who would enjoy being locked in a room with their staff for 45 minutes while they try to escape but James Biggin admits to being a competitive sort.

James, aged 40, who is MD of Sheffield promotional products company Steel City Marketing, took his staff along to take part in The Great Escape.

The game in the Avec Building on Sidney Street, is the brainchild of Sheffield couple Hannah Duraid, 24, and Peter Lacole, 28, who met while they were travelling in Croatia and played similar Crystal Maze-style games abroad.

Peter moved to Sheffield from Australia to set up the business with Hannah, a Sheffield Hallam University PGCE student. The Norton couple’s idea became reality with help from Sheffield Hallam University’s research and innovation office, which provided advice and financial support.

James, who is mentoring a finalist at this year’s Hallam University enterprise competition, divided his colleagues into two teams for a bit of friendly competition.

He said: “As soon as I heard about The Great Escape, set up by two young Hallam entrepreneurs, I thought it would be a great way to get my team away from the office and have some ‘us’ time, while supporting a brilliant local business.

“Team Production did the Homicide room and Team Sales did the Alcatraz room – I did both.”

For the game teams of up to five get locked in a room and given 45 minutes to escape by solving several challenges under pressure.

James said: “The idea was to help our terrific new members of staff feel a valuable part of the team – it was great fun and we learnt a lot.”