Historic building in Sheffield city centre set to transform into ‘cultural hub’

25 February 2021

Sheffield City Council have approved plans to convert a historic building in the city centre into “a business, social and visitor destination and independent cultural hub”.

Leah’s Yard, located between The Benjamin Huntsman and The Tap and Tankard pubs, has been earmarked for development as part of the Heart of the City II project.

Adam Reeves-Brown from the Heart of the City press office said: “Heart of the City and any good development scheme is all about creating a destination that resonates locally and is unique of its setting.”

“Heart of the City aim to celebrate Sheffield’s industrial heritage while trying to adapt and evolve it into something that works for today’s market and audience.”

The plans, submitted by three well known and ambitious businessmen, aim to transform Leah’s Yard on Cambridge Street into a “pioneering hub” featuring co-working space, studios, offices, café bar and courtyard space for performances and exhibitions.

James O’Hara of Rockingham Group and Tom Wolfenden of Sheffield Technology Parks, aim to use their experience to transform Leah’s Yard into a hub for independent shops, businesses and events.

James O’Hara explains: “We want people to visit Leah’s Yard and have a memorable experience, both in terms of the products you can view and buy, but also the atmosphere of the place and the people you interact with.”

Tom Wolfenden, in charge of the business side of the project, said: “Sheffield is home to so many extremely talented people who develop incredible products, but they rarely reside in the City Centre. Our vision for Leah’s Yard is to bring all that together in one place and provide these businesses with a literal shop window and an affordable route into the city centre.”

The new visitor centre estimates to produce 2,500 jobs and contribute over £15m of GVA (Gross Value Added) to the city’s economy each year.

In addition to celebrating the city’s industrial past the project will also support its creative future by supporting the growth of 300 businesses and launching 40 new businesses each year.

The currently derelict building aims to be open to the public by Christmas 2022.

Written by Charlotte Crompton

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