A Sheffield warehouse and office building which was left empty following the failure of a painting and decorating wholesaler’s is set for a new lease of life as a martial arts and dance academy thanks to the Charterfields Asset Disposal team.
Shield House, on Holbrook Industrial Estate, was sold by Charterfields for £860,000 to local entrepreneur Liam Richards, founder of Excel Martial Arts. The 15,200 sq ft property will replace Excel’s two smaller units nearby and allow it to create a number of new jobs for coaches and other staff.
Shield House formerly belonged to Shield Quality at Work, a long-established family business which was forced to close recently as a result of cashflow issues. Sheffield-based insolvency specialists Wilson Field appointed Charterfields to sell the property and assets.
Liam, 29, took up martial arts at the age of seven after being bullied at school and became a Black Belt when he was just 11 years old. He started his business from his parents’ garage as a teenager in 2007 and the following year, he and his friend Danny Ball reached the final of Britain’s Got Talent as the martial arts duo, Strike!
Excel Martial Arts and Excel Dance now have almost 700 students between them and are run by a nine-strong team led by Liam, his mum Diane and sister Sharnie. They train students of all ages and also work with local schools to help improve pupils’ confidence and reduce bullying. The new academy is due to be launched at the grand opening on 21 July.
Liam says: “Martial Arts gave me courage and confidence and provided a focus for my life. We now help others to achieve the same benefits. People describe our classes as a ‘positive bubble’ where, no matter what the challenges, they come out feeling better about themselves. The new building is ideal for our needs and will provide a base which can accommodate the growing Excel ‘family’ and allow us to expand our work with students and the wider community.”
Ian Maycock of Charterfields says: “Shield House attracted significant interest, which demonstrates that there is strong demand for high-quality commercial units, despite the challenging market. It’s great to have found a buyer who can give the building a new lease of life, while helping to support local employment and creating a positive impact within the local community. We wish Liam and the team all the best with their future plans.”