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Utilita Arena Sheffield are pleased to announce a long-term strategic partnership focussed on the supply specialist canine search and protection teams provided by Global Support Services (GSS). This will help ensure an additional layer of safety and reassurance to customers at the home to some of the city’s most prestigious live entertainment events.

The introduction of specialist canine teams is part of a wide range of measures in place at the Arena to keep customers safe when attending live events at the venue.

Dogs have a sense of smell up 100,000 times more sensitive than humans and the presence of detection and protection dog teams with their strong sensory powers often has a positive effect on anti-social behaviour and crime in and around their search or patrol areas.

In a partnership including the supply of both specialist detection dog teams and protection dog teams for all music and sporting events at the Arena, GSS will also provide practical canine-led counter-terrorism advice and solutions as the industry navigates its way through the introduction of the UK Protect Duty over the course of the next few months (“Martyn’s Law”).

As the new team is welcomed, GSS are planning to develop the process by allocating QR-coded tags to each working dog as part of a customer engagement initiative. The QR code will allow customers to find out more about each dog and gain more of an understanding of their important role at Utilita Arena Sheffield.

Dom Stokes, Head of Live Events and Venues at Sheffield City Trust as well as general manager at the Arena said:

“The safety and welfare of all our guests, promoters, acts and partners is our top priority. Quite simply this will give all our stakeholders total confidence in what we do.  We were recommended GSS by our principal security provider, as the partner of choice and experts for specialist dog teams in our sector. This is another aspect to our comprehensive risk assessment process. We have found GSS to be responsive to our needs, passionate and consummately professional. Most of all, they’re a great bunch of people to work alongside and in a short space of time, have fully integrated into our protective security platform here at the arena.”

Dave Pitt – GSS Specialist Services Director said:

“Due to the changes in the threat picture and customers seeking safety and reassurance along every step of their entertainment experience, the transactional days of ‘dial-a-dog’ are over. The team at Sheffield Arena works with us proactively on the identification of risk and values our recommendations on the appropriate, measured allocation of resources to mitigate those risks. This partnership is being built on regular communication, innovation – and a shared commitment to continuous improvement.”


About Global Support Services

Global Support Services (GSS), a leading provider of specialist security services in the UK and around the world, was founded in 2010 to partner with clients to identify risk, provide reassurance and keep people safe. With a speciality in developing and deploying search and protection dogs teams to high-risk areas such as stadiums, offices and critical national infrastructure sites, the company collaborates with the UK government, universities and charities to ensure the highest standard of canine detection, R&D and animal welfare. With the aim of being the industry’s supplier and employer of choice, GSS has been recognised by the Home Office as a Centre of Excellence, as well as the Financial Times, Investors in People, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, the Living Wage Foundation and others for its company culture and innovation. For more information, visit

About Utilita Arena Sheffield 

Utilita Arena Sheffield is the region’s largest indoor premier entertainment venue with a multi-purpose auditorium accommodating audiences from 3,000 to over 13,600.

Since 1991, the venue has hosted more than 3,000 local, regional, national, and international events, from major concerts to comedy, sport to theatre, family shows to exhibitions and conferences.

The Arena was officially opened on May 30, 1991, by Her Majesty the Queen and, over the last 26 years, has welcomed over 16 million people through its doors, bringing more than £500 million to the Sheffield economy.

The Arena is operated by Sheffield City Trust (SCT) a not-for-profit Trust whose primary objective is to improve the health and wellbeing of Sheffield people by providing facilities for entertainment, sport, and leisure.