By: 23 February 2016
Wake Smith director joins ReNew Sheffield project

Wake Smith’s commercial property director Lisa Davison has joined the board of ReNew Sheffield.

Davison, who has provided commercial property advice for more than ten years, will help shape the collaborative project created by Sheffield City Council and the University of Sheffield. ReNew Sheffield aims to promote and support creative uses of empty buildings in Sheffield for pop-up shops and other start-up businesses.

ReNew Sheffield was inspired by a visit from regeneration expert Marcus Westbury of Renew Australia last year.

Since then, Sheffield City Council’s officers and councillors, and the university’s Office for City and Cultural Engagement and Schools of Law and Management, have worked with the creative community offering mentoring, funding and help in finding vacant units.

The project is governed by a board made up of Sheffield City Council, property agents, The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) and chaired by Professor Vanessa Toulmin, director of City and Cultural Engagement at the University of Sheffield. Additional funding has come from SHU, Sheffield University and the newly formed Sheffield BID.

“The ReNew scheme is all about giving new, independent businesses the opportunity to test their ideas, trade in a city centre location and grow, while at the same time enlivening the city’s streets, especially in areas of transition which are suitable for meanwhile use,” said Davison.

“It has already attracted a great deal of interest from potential new businesses and I look forward to lending my expertise to the panel.”

Toulmin said that the ReNew Sheffield project had grown out of the activity and passion of a number of local bodies and individuals who had been working on improving the business environment in the city for several years.

“It works by building relationships between landlords, space holders and potential space user,” said Toulmin.

“We are delighted to welcome Lisa to the board and know her commercial property legal knowledge will prove invaluable to us.”

Davison’s appointment adds to Wake Smith’s already considerable involvement in the development of Sheffield’s city centre. Fellow director John Baddeley was recently appointed on the board of the Sheffield Business Improvement District (BID) Company and director and head of commercial property and residential conveyancing Neil Salter sits on the Sheffield Property and Regeneration Committee (SPARC).