A step forward for plans to restore Leah’s Yard

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A planning application to start the restoration of Leah’s Yard – a Grade II* Listed building on Cambridge Street – has been submitted, with the long-term vision for the building to play a key role in a new cultural district in Sheffield city centre. 

Leah’s Yard, which sits on Cambridge Street within the Council’s £470 million Heart of the City II development scheme, houses a collection of small, former industrial workshops. Although plans are still in the early stages, there is a real desire from the Council and their strategic development partner, Queensberry, to maintain the site’s unique Sheffield character and provide new ‘maker’ space for the city’s current and next creative generations.

The project team will be inviting bids toward the end of March this year from interested organisations who may wish to occupy and manage the spaces.

In the meantime, Listed Building Consent is being sought to undertake the fundamental construction works to make the building structurally sound and to bring it back into a usable condition. This will include making the building wind and water-tight by installing new windows, doors and roof.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment at Sheffield City Council, said:

“We are attempting to retain attractive heritage across the Heart of the City II site, whilst ensuring we create exciting new spaces that are beneficial and sustainable to the local economy.

“With some of the most interesting architecture in the city centre, this city block was always going to be one of the most challenging and rewarding blocks in the masterplan. Bringing Leah’s Yard back to its former glory is something high on our list of priorities. We believe the new plans for the building will help give a cultural heart and social anchor to the scheme.

“Today’s application for Listed Building Consent on Leah’s Yard is the first step in realising its true potential.”

George Wilson, Associate at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios – the architect firm involved, commented:

“Our approach recognises the significance of the buildings on Cambridge Street, including the Grade II* Listed Leah’s Yard, and the story they tell of how the area has developed over time.

“By celebrating and working with the existing fabric we will create a place that is distinctly ‘of Sheffield’, but also reflects Sheffield’s bold and forward-looking ambition in which a new context will be created for the old.”

Sheffield City Council has also been working closely with heritage interest groups in the city. They have been discussing design and usage ideas, and all feedback is being considered in the evolving plans for Leah’s Yard and wider Cambridge Street site.