Our Story

We begin with the past...

James Montgomery

James Montgomery was a Scottish poet and journalist, best remembered for his hymns, poems and versified renderings of the psalms which are among the finest in English. 


James Montgomery was a radical and avid spokesperson for social reform including banning the employment of children as chimney sweeps. He championed free education through Sunday Schools to those who previously had no access to an education. James Montgomery’s political outspoken views caused him to be fined and imprisoned in York castle twice.


The Montgomery Theatre

The Montgomery Theatre was originally built as a meeting hall for the Sheffield Sunday Schools Union as well as a memorial to James Montgomery in 1886.

In 1949 Tuckwood’s Restaurant was established in the Lower Hall, where it remained for 45 years, providing high class lunches and theatre suppers.

The Montgomery survived both the Blitz and a devastating fire in 1971 to become the home for many of Sheffield’s leading community theatre groups.

We move into the present...

The Montgomery & Children

The Montgomery has been a pillar of the Sheffield community for championing the rights of children to explore creativity since 1886. 

Regular holiday clubs for children and young people create opportunities to engage with the arts for the local community. Continuing the legacy of James Montgomery himself a core part of The Montgomery’s ethos is to open up access to a creative education to all.


Based in the heart of Sheffield, the Montgomery hosts community and professional theatre and productions for children and young people, schools and families. 

Community & Dance

In 2012, the Montgomery transformed the lower hall into a drama and dance studio. Since then it has been used by various groups including Wanlin Dance Academy and Carney Academy. 

Monty Makers

The Montgomery offers opportunities for young people and local community groups to collaborate and partner with other creative organisations across South Yorkshire. 

In January 2022 the Montgomery began its own Monty Makers stand of work, with a programme of activity centred around children and young people. Regular holiday clubs for children and young people create opportunities to engage with the arts for local communities.

And our vision of the future...

Fully accessible and inclusive

The Montgomery is undertaking a period of development from the summer of 2023, with the principal objective of improving accessibility to the theatre.  

Together with extended outreach strategy and further collaboration with local community groups, this will help the Montgomery with the long-term goal of becoming Yorkshire’s leading Arts Centre for children and young people. 

Street presence

The immediate capital project will address Montgomery’s public facing areas, improving the building’s presence on the street and creating an inviting and accessible entrance.

A new entrance

The project will also look at the entrance sequence and improve the visitor experience. There is a potential for the ground floor space to accommodate new uses such as an exhibition space or a bookstore.

An improved experience

The first floor could become an open plan and fully accessible bar space with generous seating and gathering area, making it a space easy to navigate around.  

Flexible use

To make the most out of the space available, there is a potential to create a flexible space that can accommodate a variety of uses; a bar space at night time and workspace for young people and local community groups during the day. 

Phased development

The aspirational vision will be delivered through a phased development, with both accessibility and sustainability at the heart of the first phases.

Keep in touch to hear how our story evolves!