Work has started today to secure the structure of the historic Leah’s Yard on Cambridge Street.
Leah’s Yard Structure to be Secured
Long-planned essential works on Leah’s Yard will secure the structure of the building, making it ready to be brought back into use.
Sheffield construction firm RF Joinery have been appointed to conduct the necessary works. Commissioned by Sheffield City Council and its strategic development partner Queensberry, the project will bring the derelict building back to a usable condition.
A significant amount of work is to be done which includes structural reinforcement, making the building watertight, roof repairs and replacement windows.
“As a Sheffield-based construction firm, we’re really pleased to be involved in bringing back to life such a valuable part of our city’s heritage.
“Leah’s Yard has a rich history and is important to a lot of people, so it will be great to see it back in good condition again within the Heart of the City II scheme.”Paul Roberts, Director at RF Joinery and Shopfitting Ltd
Leah’s Yard central to the Heart of the City II project
Leah’s Yard is seen as an important part of Sheffield’s historical heritage, having once housed a number of small ‘Little Mesters’ workshops.
Likewise, the former manufacturing location is seen as central to the Heart of the City II redevelopment project.
It is planned for Leah’s Yard to be the cultural and social hub of Heart of the City II. New facilities are to be built around the Grade II* listed area, with plans to create a space for a large food hall, entertainment venue and a new public square.
“We are attempting to retain a lot of attractive heritage across the Heart of the City II scheme, while also ensuring we create new spaces that are usable and sustainable to the local economy.
“Leah’s Yard is a particularly special part of the Heart of the City II project. It has a great story within our city and bringing it back to its former glory was always high on our list of priorities.
“It’s an exciting challenge and more detailed plans will be unveiled in due course. However, we truly believe that Leah’s Yard — alongside the newly approved plans for the neighbouring Cambridge Street Collective and Bethel Chapel — will help create a new cultural and social focal point in the city centre.”Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment
New Social Enterprise for Leah’s Yard?
Whilst the long term future of Leah’s Yard hasn’t been fully finalised as yet, a number of bids have been received to utilise the space.
Sheffield City Council’s preferred option is to retain the workshops as creative “makers” hubs.
One of the bids received has come from a collective of Sheffield social enterprises — made up of Opus Independents, Union St and DINA.
Their bid would see the maker’s workshops retained, alongside new co-working office spaces, an entertainment venue and a cafe/bar.
“We’re delighted that our plans for Cambridge Street been given the go ahead. It will act as a gathering space for people to enjoy Sheffield’s vibrant cultural scene — with the restoration of Leah’s Yard adding a further sense of history.
“We’re excited to be moving ahead with this important project and look forward to sharing news of our construction timescales and operators in due course.”Andrew Davison, Project Director at Queensberry
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