A National Lottery Heritage Fund grant has been awarded to the Dronfield Heritage Trust for work on a campaign to attract more commercial users to Dronfield Hall Barn.

The High Street heritage building is home to a wide range of arts, cultural and community events as well as having an outdoor and indoor coffee shop.

The Trust has appointed PR consultant Louise Third MBE who is originally from Holmesfield to work with the DHB managers and current business partners to shape the new plans.

Alan Powell, chair of the Dronfield Heritage Trust, believes the new commercial landscape presents the perfect opportunity to plan ahead and offer somewhere unique where businesses can work and meet.

“If the past few months have taught us anything, it is that we need to adapt and serve our community in different ways. During the Covid lockdown, we stayed active by putting many of our activities online and our home grocery delivery service proved vital to many Dronfield residents.

“We now we feel we can do even more to maximise our brilliant facilities and at the same time help the business community as they continue the process of recovery. Put simply, the more activity we can generate, the more sustainable the Barn becomes for the future.

He added: “Louise has been a Friend of DHB for several years and brings strong commercial and creative expertise to this project. Back in 2004 she handled the press work when Sainsbury’s gifted the Barn and has followed our progress ever since.”

Covid-related travel and social distancing restrictions are placing more pressure on employees to work closer to home, and on businesses to find alternative places to meet. This project will look into how the Dronfield Hall Barn might help solve some of these issues for Sheffield and north Derbyshire businesses and other organisations.

Anyone interested in talking to Louise can email her at louise@louisethird.com or message via LinkedIn.

Louise is keen to hear from local business owners and managers who can help her research. “I used to work in Sheffield and my family was well-established in the business communities of the city and north-east Derbyshire. So it is a privilege to be back working in a familiar part of the country.”