An operator is being sought for a new live entertainment venue as part of Sheffield’s Heart of the City scheme.
Sheffield City Council and its strategic development partner Queensberry are inviting interest from potential operators for Bethel Chapel.
Located on Cambridge Street, the Bethel Chapel building, which dates back to the 1830s, is currently being refurbished and will become the latest addition to the strong tradition of live music and performance spaces in Sheffield when it opens next year.
The venue represents a key component in Heart of the City’s ‘cultural and social’ focal point in the area, and is set to complement the Cambridge Street Collective food hall development, and the independent retail, studio and maker spaces in Leah’s Yard, which will also both open next in 2023.
The successful operator of Bethel Chapel will be responsible for curating all events and social activities – expected to be live music, comedy and other live arts.
Alongside the live entertainment space on the ground floor, there will be a bar and café area on the first floor and the top floor will also have an external roof terrace and balcony. A new outside space at the rear will have seating areas for Bethel Chapel and the adjoining Cambridge Street Collective.
The foundation stone for Bethel Chapel was laid in July 1835 and opened for services in June 1836. The Primitive Methodist Bethel Chapel existed for just over a century and its final service was on Sunday 20th September 1936.
It was briefly empty before George Binns, an outfitter at Moorhead, bought the old chapel to relocate its business. The small churchyard at the front was swept away, including iron railings and stone pillars, and probably a few gravestones. In 1938 a two-storey extension was added to the front of the chapel, with stone initials on its parapet showing ‘GB’ and the date ‘1868’, the year the business was founded.
By the 1960s the shop had transferred to Lawsons Outfitters and in 1977 it was acquired by Cole Brothers (later John Lewis) to alleviate pressure on its store across the road.