Jazz icon pays visit to Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park

Jul 1, 2021

Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park recently welcomed Jazz and Blues icon, Joanne “Pug” Horton as part of a trip back to her home city.

The Sheffield born and bred singer, actress, academic, mother and grandmother was given a first-hand look at our plans for the next phase of development at the Park, which will see us deliver 850,000 sq ft of commercial space across an 80-acre zone to build on the significant progress made to date in creating a world-class community for the health, wellbeing, sport and activity sectors.

As a young girl growing up in Sheffield in the 1930’s and 1940’s, Joanne has a strong recollection of the area surrounding the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park and its once close-knit community, and is keen to see it revitalised.

Having toured the globe as a professional jazz and blues artist, Joanne has sung at some of the most respected music venues including Carnegie Hall and the Royal Festival Hall. She has also appeared in several movies and documentaries, as well as hosting her own radio talk shows and TV shows. Yet, despite her many accolades, her most fulfilling and rewarding work comes from her community and charitable activities.

“Like many others, I grew up in a working-class family in a city where the rates of deprivation were quite high but community values were strong. I was determined to use my talent not only to forge a different path for myself but also to help others by bringing them together and empowering them at the same time,” explained Joanne.

A self-confessed enabler, as well as fighting against inequality, helping those in need and campaigning on issues that mattered most to her, both in the UK and overseas, Joanne also has an MA in Sociology, Psychology and Arts Administration.

Joanne added: “I’m so profoundly moved and excited by what the team is hoping to achieve at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, not least of all because I see a lot of synergies with my own experiences but also because it is my home town. I’m so delighted to see this take place in my lifetime.”

Kevin McCabe, Chairman of SGI, commented: “I had the good fortune of meeting Pug on a long-haul flight from the Far East to Heathrow some four years ago. The unique link of learning that two working class kids were born and forged in the Bramall Lane area of Sheffield built a genuine friendship.

“We’re very proud to showcase the work we are doing with our partners here at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park and would like to thank Pug for taking the time to come and see it first-hand. This is a really exciting time for us as we push forward with our plans for a world-class sports and health hub which encourages healthy lifestyles and facilitates sport from the grassroots to the elite. As well as appealing to national and international investors and occupiers, we want to create a new leisure and cultural destination that will improve health, wellbeing and economic outcomes for the local community.”

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