My Yorkshire: Jason Mace, Gala Tent

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Entrepreneur Jason Mace founded Gala Tent, a manufacturer and importer of marquees, in 1999. Today he operates a number of businesses in South Yorkshire including Gala Technology, responsible for pioneering secure order transfer payment system SOTPay, and successfully launching the Thurcroft-based Double Barrel Steakhouse.
Where you do live/where are you from?
I’m a Rotherham lad at heart. I was born and grew up in East Dene, not far from the town centre.
What is your favourite place to visit in Yorkshire and why?
I love spending time exploring the sights and delights of York. My wife is Norwegian, and as well as visiting the many different restaurants, shops and tourist attractions. It helps her to connect with her Viking roots. We usually end up setting off early in the morning and spending a full day exploring the city.
When it comes to letting my hair down, I enjoy spending time in Sheffield’s Leopold Square. There’s a Cuban themed bar in the complex with a good tapas menu. There’s always a great, relaxed atmosphere there especially when the evening is topped off with sangria and salsa!
What is still on your “to do” list in the region?
I would love to help play a greater role in regenerating my home town. Rotherham has been something of a sleeping giant for far too long and I’d love see the wonderful, vibrant atmosphere I enjoyed growing up return. Of course, I’m under no illusions, there’s some serious work and investment needed but I’d love to play a greater role in helping to protect many of the historic buildings and pubs in the town centre, whilst helping to nurture local business confidence.
What is the most memorable meal you’ve ever had in Yorkshire?

I recently purchased an old public house which was facing the very realistic prospect of the wrecking ball and I decided to transform the venue into a steak house, wine bar and coffee shop, bringing long forgotten areas of the building back into use. It was quite a big project, but a very exciting one and I’ll never forget sitting down to enjoy my first steak. Everything in the venue felt fresh and new.
I’d spent time sourcing a range of wines from across the UK and as I sat down with friends to a perfectly cooked steak, served on a hot stone it just melted in my mouth. I remember sipping on a glass of English red and just savouring the moment. It was a truly unique experience.
What is your most Yorkshire trait?
It’s very difficult to even attempt to disguise my Yorkshire accent!
Favourite piece of trivia about the region.

I was amazed to discover that prior to the industrial revolution, Rotherham was a much more prosperous and thriving market town than neighbouring Sheffield; and even home to a college which rivalled Oxford and Cambridge.
What is your favourite cultural icon to come out of Yorkshire?
I’m a big fan of Michael Palin, from his early work with the pythons to his later travel documentaries. But I think my favourite cultural icon has to be Robin Hood – it might be a controversial choice, but we all know Loxley is a part of Sheffield!
Worst experience or thing about Yorkshire?
Hand on heart, I don’t think there’s anything bad about Yorkshire, it’s all brilliant! If I was pushed though I’d have to say it’s the stereotype of acrid thick black smoke in the air, with only a flat cap for protection and a whippet for company.
What is one thing you’d steal from Lancashire (or other UK regions) if you could?

There’s not much I’d want to steal from any other area of the UK, perhaps apart from the fame, fortune and trophies from Manchester United, and transfer them to a Yorkshire-based United playing in red.
What is the most overrated thing about Yorkshire?
I love Yorkshire and don’t think anything is over rated, but if you burn my Yorkshire puddings then get ready for a roasting!