Unlocking the quays’ hidden beauty

We’ve been in our home at Victoria Quays for over 2 years now, and lately we’ve started to see some really positive changes on our doorstep. Not only are we getting new neighbours (our own fit-out company OVO were so taken with the area and building they decided to move in themselves), but last weekend we supported the first Sheffield Waterfront Festival hosted by the Canal & River Trust, River Stewardship Company and Kelham Island Museum. The event caused quite a stir here at Victoria Quays, so we’ve documented this historical moment for Sheffield’s canal basin.

Sheffield Waterfront Festival 2017 logo

Dirty knees and sweaty palms

All Born + Raised staff are given an extra day’s leave to do volunteering work, so Marianne, Sam, Tamaris and I took the opportunity to help the Canal & River Trust and Environment Agency in a local clean up. We didn’t know what to expect, but applied ourselves with grit and determination – or as Born + Raised would say, Guts + Glory. The seemingly simple task of clearing and tidying a small seating area soon escalated into a hand-crafted work of art. Typical design agency, eh?

We spent a solid four hours removing litter, debris, moss and weeds to reveal a lovely little area for festival goers to enjoy. We battled the wind and pouring rain to reach the radius we’d outlined as a challenge. Thankfully, we were prepared with spare clothes and cups of tea – we were soaked to the skin, rosy-cheeked and tired by the end of the afternoon – but it was great fun and the before and after snaps make it all worth it.

Sam Lightfinch, Copywriter and Marianne MacKenzie, Account Director, helping to tidy the grounds around Born and Raised
Tamaris Roberts, Office Manager and Chloe Lowe, Head of Digital at Born and Raised helping to tidy Victoria Quays
Tamaris Roberts, Office Manager, Marianne MacKenzie, Account Director, Chlow Lowe, Head of Digital and Sam Lightfinch, Copywriter, all helping to tidy the grounds around Born and Raised
The Born and Raised team tidying up Victoria Quays
Tree in Victoria Quays
Tree in Victoria Quays

Celebration and collaboration

Friday night brought together supporters and investors in the Quays. An exhibition featuring local artists marked the launch of the festival and we drank champagne whilst discovering more about plans for the area. It’s an exciting time as Sheffield Council plans to connect the canal basin with the city centre to create a safe, serene area that reflects our unique city culture.

It was a very proud moment when our founding partners Andy, Bew and Yvette were cited as the pioneers of the Grain Warehouse as the first people to recognise its potential for business.

Ovo's Office in Sheffield, Victoria Quays

Family fun at the weekend

Saturday’s event on the waterfront attracted over 5,000 people – an incredible crowd for its first year. Thankfully, the rain from earlier in the week had passed and the sunshine made the food stalls, entertainment, crafts and canoeing all the more enjoyable.

Some of the staff from Born + Raised came back to experience it and here’s what they got up to.

Victoria Quays Market
Morris dancers performing at Victoria Quays
The Born and Raised team rowing boats
Diana Ross, Creative Artworker and Tamaris Roberts, Office Manager, both of Born and Raised- wearing life jackets and holding oars
Diana Ross, Creative Artworker, Ryan Spence, Senior Account Manager and Louise Greensmith, Senior Designer, celebrating at Victoria Quays

A ripple effect

We’re hopeful that the continued interest and investment in the area will really bring out the potential of the patch we call home. As the water ripples beside me as I write this blog post I’m optimistic that we’ll attract many more people, businesses and events to come and enjoy the peaceful beauty and interesting history that’s hidden here.