Steel Yard: What can we expect from Kelham’s newest development?

With 56 new businesses soon to make Steel Yard their new home in late October, Exposed went down to the site to find out what the latest chapter in Sheffield’s urban regeneration project has to offer.

The development on Bardwell road will consist of 56 independent businesses housed in stacked shipping containers around a central open space. And if you think this all sounds very familiar, then you’d be right. MyContainer, the company behind the plans, have already opened one container-based development, Krynkl, in Shalesmoor back in 2016. But Steel Yard is hoping to offer something new and much needed in the area.

“The people of Sheffield deserve something different,” Martin McGrail, Managing Director at MyContainer told Exposed. “As well as generating start-ups, Steel Yard will provide services to support the community.”

So along with a bistro, yoga studios and a tattoo parlour, you can expect the kind of useful services that could transform the area from cool evening spot to a place where people can live and work.

“Kelham Island is saturated with accommodation and we don’t want to fill it with bars and restaurants because that’s what Kelham Island already has,” says Martin. “We’re getting childcare providers to support the community and we’ve been talking to a dental care place. We want it to be a destination but also to provide services for people because there isn’t enough infrastructure in Kelham Island.”

Where the development will be situated

As part of the plans there will be also be integrated cycle hubs to help with the lack of parking, a problem which those who already live and work in the area will already be well acquainted with. But that’s not to say there won’t be plenty to attract those looking for an evening out in Kelham Island.

“We’re looking to do live events,” he tells me. “For example, we’re talking to an outdoor cinema company about setting up on a permanent basis and having a big LED screen for regular drive-in cinemas and outdoor showings.”

Describing his vision for the development as “a destination on the weekends but a working business hub in the week too,” the tailor-made leases on the units are designed to allow quick and affordable ways for businesses to try out their ideas.

Having already worked on projects in Manchester, Martin is forward-looking about Sheffield’s future and ability to compete with bigger cities. And judging by the popularity of similar ventures, Steel Yard is primed for a good start. “Hopefully, with things like this it’s another step closer to catching up with Leeds and Manchester. The success of Peddler Night Market clearly shows there’s a market for this kind of thing in the part of the town. 50% of the units have been taken up and it’s not even been marketed yet, it’s all by word of mouth and it’s flying in.”

Straight after Steel Yard is completed MyContainer will be moving on to their next plan, which involves bringing a similar idea to the city centre close to Division Street. Martin isn’t about to give away the details too soon, but describes it as a “brilliant concept” which, unlike the container, will involve businesses under one roof and will work alongside Sheffield Hallam University among others.

Steel Yard are planning to hold a launch event at the end of October and a Christmas fair in December, so you’ll be able to see it for yourself before too long. Head to for more info and watch this space, Sheffield… 

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