Milestone Sheffield: entrepreneur gives update on Wig & Pen, Craft and Dough and famous restaurant

One of Sheffield’s top food entrepreneurs has opened up about the future of three of his famous venues, calling it ‘the end of a chapter’.

Friday, 12th November 2021, 1:47 pm

Matt Bigland said he had handed back the keys to the Wig & Pen on Campo Lane, the sale of Craft and Dough in Kelham Island was going through and they were ‘in talks’ over the sale of the Milestone restaurant.

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The three had a big impact on Sheffield food’s scene and put Matt Bigland’s company - The Milestone Group - on the map.

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Matt Bigland, right and wife Nina Patel-Bigland discuss the Cutlery Works with agent Tim Bottrill in 2018. Picture: Andrew Roe

It went on to open the Cutlery Works in Neepsend and launch a payment app. The firm will also run the Cambridge Street Collective food hall in the Heart of the City 2 development which will be twice the size of the Cutlery Works.

Speaking to an online audience, Mr Bigland said their focus was now on food halls and investing in up and coming brands.

He added: “It’s the end of a chapter for us. It’s been an emotional one.”

The Milestone on Green Lane in Kelham.

The Milestone was in the vanguard of development in Kelham Island when it opened in 2006.

It received a huge boost after appearing on Channel 4’s Gordon Ramsay’s Best Restaurant in 2010.

The Wig & Pen was popular with lawyers and journalists and expanded to offer pizza and sushi. Craft and Dough, at Kelham Square, was one of the first of a new wave of independent pizza firms. It is the only one still operating - the Wig & Pen and Milestone did not reopen after coronavirus restrictions were lifted.

The Wig and Pen on Campo Lane, is boarded up.

Asked about his mistakes, Mr Bigland said: “It’s holding on to something for too long. We could have sold The Milestone for a better price when we were passionate about it.”

He also said taking over Fancie on Ecclesall Road had been a ‘disaster’.

On the future of food, he said: “We don’t need any more burgers’, and he wanted to show Sheffield was ‘more than just Cutlery Works, Kommune and Joro’ by showcasing Saudi, Afghan and Ethiopian foods.

He added: “I love Sheffield and want it to be a Mecca for food. But there’s so much you don’t see. On holiday you explore the Spital Hills of this world, but at home we don’t. It’s people cooking regional foods from the heart.”

The Cutlery Works on Neepsend Lane, Neepsend. The former cutlery works is now a indoor food market with multiple restaurants and bars. Picture: Chris Etchells

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