A week in Steelopolis

Former Endcliffe Sunday School, Ecclesall Road, Sheffield. Image/Axis Architecture

Food court proposal for old Sunday School

Last year, we looked at proposals to convert the former Endcliffe Sunday School, next to the old Endcliffe Methodist Church, on Ecclesall Road, into apartments and townhouses. Over a year later, the plans have been changed and now designs have been submitted for the alteration, extension, and conversion of the building, to create ‘Founders & Co’ a food hall/street food restaurant, bar, and local enterprise hub, with ancillary retail and business workspace.

The Sunday School was originally built at a cost of £8,000 for the adjacent Methodist Church. It was designed by John Charles Amory Teather, who placed copies of religious and local newspapers, a circuit plan, and a programme of the day’s proceedings in a cavity, when the foundation stone was laid on 6 October 1927.

The vacant Sunday School comprises a central large classroom with a stage to the south that is lit naturally by the rear window. The front of the stage is decorated with a plaster architrave topped with a hood that includes the date ‘1928’, the date of completion.

In later years it was sold to the University of Sheffield and, in 1985, became the Traditional Heritage Museum. The museum closed in 2011 and the building was last used by the university in 2016.

‘Founders & Co’ is a concept developed by Bark Design Studios which has seen the successful rollout of the concept in Swansea and models itself on other food hall operations like Kommune, at Sheffield’s Castle House, although on a smaller scale.

Proposed Founders & Co at Endcliffe Sunday School, Ecclesall Road, Sheffield. Image/Axis Architecture


Meadowhall receives planning permission for leisure extension

Retail as we’ve known it is disappearing, and Meadowhall can see that its future will be leisure-led. Plans for an extension to the shopping centre have been approved and will include a new indoor recreation and leisure hall, shops, food and drink units, extension to the existing cinema, police station and car showroom. The plan has been scaled down twice and includes an agreement to delay building the leisure hall until 2029, to minimise impact on Sheffield and Rotherham centres.


Old Town Hall, Waingate, Sheffield. Image/Sheffield in Ruins/Denzil Watson/2022/Revelations 23 Press

Renewed fears for future of the Old Town Hall

This photo has been doing the rounds this week. It shows a missing floor at Sheffield’s Old Town Hall and is featured in a new book.

Sheffield In Ruins, by Denzil Watson, is a fascinating photographic record of city locations that once teemed with life, but that found themselves empty and unwanted as the city’s story moved on.

Since first exploring the dereliction of Sheffield’s East End in the late 1980s, Denzil Watson has developed a passion for secret spaces that once had a purpose – interiors that are now smashed and trashed, rusting and wrecked, but that have a desperate beauty all their own.

The photo emerges at the same time as Valerie Bayliss, chair of the Friends of the Old Town Hall, urged its owner, Gary Ata, to show he was serious about restoring the ‘great old listed building which has been neglected for too long’. Built in 1808, it has been disused for 25 years.

“In its current state it’s likely to be a drag on the city council’s plans to regenerate Castlegate; it will probably deter other potential investors; and we know its condition is getting worse. We hope the city council is monitoring the situation closely.”

According to David Walsh, writing for the Sheffield Star, “Mr Ata snapped up the site on Waingate for £600,000. He registered a company called The Courthouse Apartments (Sheffield) Ltd and took out two loans which were repaid on November 28 this year. But no repair or restoration work appear to have taken place.”


Site of new Manhatta at Balm Green, Sheffield. Imagee/Ashleigh Signs

A lively addition to Balm Green

Into the city centre, and a lively addition to the normal solitude of Balm Green, next to Sheffield City Hall.

Once upon a time, this was the site of the Grand Hotel, replaced by Fountain Precinct, a brown and neutral tiled office building, built in the 1970s. It ranges from six to nine stories in height across its various wings and is arranged around a central courtyard.

The building has recently undergone major refurbishment, with lots of glass, shared business lounge, external roof terrace, break out areas and upgraded common areas.

Early next year, the ground floor, fronting Balm Green, is to become Manhatta bar/restaurant and says it will be beneficial for both locals and visitors to the area.

The company already operates in Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Harrogate, and York.


Castlegate House, Haymarket, Sheffield. Image: DNA Group

Apartment plans for Castlegate House

News of an unusual planning application for Castlegate House at 12-18 Haymarket. Built in the 1960s, the ground floor was once occupied by British Home Stores (BHS) but is now a branch of B&M Bargains.

The application is for change of use on the upper floor from retail (unused) to large ‘housing in multiple occupation’ style letting rooms. The basement will be converted into a gym for residents, while the existing ground floor shop and first floor snooker hall will remain unaffected.

The proposal is to convert the second and third floors into high quality student accommodation. New windows will be included to each room for light and fresh air, with the central part of the building removed to provide a large open space to the central area and light to the inner rooms.

Each room will have its own kitchenette, bathroom, seating and sleeping areas. There is a large communal area in the glazed atrium and a communal kitchen/ dining area on each floor.

Access to the site will be from Dixon Lane and across the walkway bridge to the covered way at Haymarket. Both entrances will have electronic key entry, CCTV cameras, and a video entry system.

It isn’t the most attractive building in the area, but the exterior will be upgraded to include new window openings, while the Haymarket front will be re clad with stylish metal sheeting.

Proposed designs for Castlegate House, Haymarket, Sheffield. Image: DNA Group

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