A former cutlery works in Sheffield which is attempting to find funding for a major renovation has been dealt a blow after its bid for lottery funding was rejected.
Portland Works had made an application for £540,000 to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Victorian building is now owned by more than 500 community shareholders who responded to an appeal to keep the iconic works alive and halt plans for conversion to apartments.
The aim is to retain affordable workspace for small manufacturing businesses as well as independent artists and craftspeople, and work has started on some renovation thanks mainly to voluntary labour.
Had it been successful, the Heritage Lottery Fund cash would have been used to renovate one of the blocks within the works in Randall Street, near Bramall Lane, and initiate an education programme.
Derek Morton, chairman of Portland Works, said: “Naturally we are disappointed after all the hard work done so far but there are other irons in the fire and our financial plans are on secure foundations.
“We are working hard on our fund raising strategy and feeling optimistic about the future.
“We raised £260,000 in community shares to secure ownership of the works in 2013, and since then a further £50,000 through donations, small grants and more shares, which we’ve spent on renovating the works.
“This is testament to the fantastic support that we have had from the people of Sheffield. It’s been truly amazing to discover just how much people care about the heritage and community endeavour that Portland Works represents
“Almost all the workshop space in the building is now let and on December 10 we celebrated the opening of the newly refurbished ‘A Block’ at the front of the works. “Most of this renovation has been achieved by an enthusiastic team of volunteers.
“It will bring us more tenants in and increase income for the society.
“The next priority is to raise around £100,000 to renovate large areas of the roof and make the building weather-proof.
“Every penny raised will be used to improve and develop the works.”
See www.portlandworks.co.uk to find out about helping out or getting involved with the project.