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Plans submitted to transform historic yard into creative hub

A planning application has been submitted to transform Leah’s Yard in Sheffield into a hub for independent businesses.

As part of the wider Heart of the City development programme, which aims to regenerate Sheffield, the Council have prioritised bringing the Grade II Listed building back into viable and sustainable use, after it has been listed on Historic England’s ‘Building at Risk’ register for a long time.

With preliminary structural and roof work nearly complete, the Council, strategic development partner Queensberry, and architect FCBStudios have submitted a planning application for the main construction and fit-out work.

If approved, the plans will see the existing Leah’s Yard complex refurbished, with a busy central public courtyard planned, surrounded by small boutique shops, and the first and second floors hosting around 20 independent working studios.

George Wilson, associate at FCBStudios, said: ‘Sheffield is full of extremely talented people who develop incredible products. Leah’s Yard will aim to bring these people and small businesses together and provide them with a route into the city centre. We are also aiming to create a truly memorable visitor experience, both in terms of the products you can buy and the atmosphere of the venue.

‘With the plans now submitted, we are really keen to hear from the public and local businesses about what blend of retailers and ‘makers’ they would like to see at Leah’s Yard and what type of events we can host there.’

The project is bringing together Tom Wolfenden, CEO of SSPCo, which manages the Cooper Buildings on Arundel Street, and James O’Hara of the Rockingham Group, which runs bars such as Public and Picture House Social, to operate the venue, after the Council selected them earlier this year.

Tom Wolfenden, CEO of SSPCo, said: ‘Sheffield is full of extremely talented people who develop incredible products. Leah’s Yard will aim to bring these people and small businesses together and provide them with a route into the city centre. We are also aiming to create a truly memorable visitor experience, both in terms of the products you can buy and the atmosphere of the venue.

‘With the plans now submitted, we are really keen to hear from the public and local businesses about what blend of retailers and ‘makers’ they would like to see at Leah’s Yard and what type of events we can host there.’

In related news, plans to upgrade the shopfronts in Darlington’s yards have been developed as part of the Council’s multi-million pound Towns Fund scheme.

Photo supplied by Sheffield City Council

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