There aren’t many MDs who would enjoy being locked in a room with their staff and try to escape in 45 minutes for fun, but avid sport fan James Biggin (40) MD of Sheffield promotional products company Steel City Marketing admits to being a competitive sort.

“As soon as I heard about The Great Escape, set up by two young Hallam entrepreneurs, I thought it would be a great way to get my team away from the office and have some “us” time, while supporting a brilliant local business.”

James, who is mentoring a finalist at this year’s Hallam University enterprise competition, divided his colleagues into two teams for a bit of friendly competition. “Team Production did the Homicide room and Team Sales did the Alcatraz room – I did both! It’s like the Great Escape all over again. Basically, teams of two to five get locked in a room and have just 45mins to escape by solving a series of challenges under pressure while the clock ticks down. Not unlike steering a business through the last recession” smiles James, whose father founded the leading promotional gifts company 35 years ago.

“On the back of a year of solid growth, my focus is to help our terrific new members of staff feel a valuable part of the team – it was great fun and we learnt a lot about communicating clearly and effectively with each other in a short time. To paraphrase the great Bill Shankly, winning is not a matter of life and death, it’s more important than that!”

The game, in the Avec Building, Sidney Street, is the brainchild of Sheffield couple Hannah Duraid, aged 24, and Peter Lacole, aged 28 who met while they were travelling in Croatia and played similar ‘Crystal Maze’- style games abroad.