Why I Believe in the Sheffield City Region

Published 9th January 2017 at 2:48pm

Martin McKervey, Local Enterprise Partnership Board Member

Martin McKervey, although born and brought up in County Fermanagh, is a passionate believer in the Sheffield City Region and its potential. Much of his spare time outside the office is spent working to help the region move forward.

Sheffield has been hugely good to me I came here as a student in 1980, I love the city and I’m still here 35 years later.  It’s given me a lot, for which I am grateful and I’ve been very lucky.”

I am honoured to be a private sector board member. We all have a role to play in developing and delivering an ambitious economic growth strategy for the City Region, providing a forum for business leadership to engage, identifying economic priorities and creating a platform for investment and job creation.

These are uncertain times but it is also a time of great opportunity. We must be confident in the role we are playing and the contribution we are making to the Northern Powerhouse and be ambitious in our ability to deliver on the key economic assets which we have – the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District, Doncaster Sheffield Airport, the Sheffield Retail Quarter, Meadowhall and Chesterfield Waterside – to name but a few.

Through the Sheffield City Region Integrated Infrastructure Plan (the first of its kind outside of London) we really do have a platform to engage with business and investors on a national and international platform and so deliver our goals and ambitions around transport, housing and skills.


I came to Sheffield to read law.  I’d always wanted to be a lawyer since I was about 13, and I was the first person in my family to go to university – I owe everything to my parents.  The university offers so much to Sheffield and the City Region and I greatly value the opportunity I have to give something back through my work with the School of Law Business Advisory Board and the Alumni Board – both great organisations.

Gaelic football and hurling

I played both when I was a lad, and always look forward to those two Sundays in September when I go to Dublin for the All-Ireland Gaelic football and hurling finals at Croke Park.  The passion, intensity and physicality of these games is something to behold. These days I also play golf, often very badly, at Hallamshire Golf Club.


I am married to Juliet, and we have two daughters, Bronte and Freya – they are special people.  The other family members are Alfie, our cockapoo dog (who is outgoing, active, intelligent and after a few testing years he and I are now getting on!) and Chilly, our horse. We discovered Chilly in Cumbria only to learn that he was born in County Fermanagh – it is a small world!

I regularly go back to Ireland to see my family.  My brother is an undertaker, he keeps me grounded.  It’s where we all end up, he says.

Voluntary roles

I am a governor at Sheffield Spring Academy, and a trustee of the Burton Street Foundation in Hillsborough, which does just amazing things for adults and children with learning disabilities – one of the most rewarding and uplifting places on this planet.

I’m also on the Advisory Board of Common Purpose, the leadership development organisation, and the Work-wise Executive – which helps young people get a real insight into the world of work  – something we need to do more of in the Sheffield City Region. These young people are the future and they all have potential.

Life as a Lawyer

I am a partner at Nabarro LLP based in the Sheffield office.

I work in the infrastructure, construction and energy sectors and my areas of practice involve court proceedings, arbitration, adjudication and alternative dispute resolution/mediation.  I am a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.  I’m privileged to work on some of the most significant national infrastructure projects in the UK and to have met some truly wonderful people nationally and internationally.  I have indeed been very lucky.