Planning permission has been submitted for Leah’s Yard on Cambridge Street to be transformed into a new creative hub for independent businesses, with a slew of independent stores set to surround a public courtyard.
The venue will be operated by Tom Wolfenden, CEO of SSPCo, and James O’Hara of the Rockingham Group, who were appointed to the project by Sheffield City Council.
If approved, Leah’s Yard will be refurbished true to its current form, with a courtyard surrounded by small boutique shops, with the first and second floors hosting approximately 20 independent working studios.
The oldest buildings on the Leah’s Yard site are the two former houses fronting Cambridge Street that date from the early nineteenth century. The industrial legacy of Leah’s Yard began with George Linley in 1825 as a small shear and tool manufacturing complex during the early nineteenth century. The houses fronting the street were later converted to offices and shops, and the complex as a whole is characterised by piecemeal additions and alterations dating from the nineteenth and twentieth century.
Cambridge Street was known for its horn works, and James Morton, a horn dealer, became the major sole occupier about 1842.
Leah’s Yard was occupied from about 1891-92 by Henry Leah and Sons, a manufacturer of die stamps for silverware. By 1911 there were 23 occupants (little mesters) on site producing slightly different goods, and undertaking different processes yet all contributing to the cutlery trade.
The site was predominantly used for production associated with the metal trades well into the mid to late twentieth century. The Leah family remained in part of the complex until the 1970s when they merged with Spear and Jackson; they sold the site in the 1990s. The Cambridge Street frontage of the complex had been used as shops in its last few years of occupation, and takes into account the former Sportsman public house and Chubby’s recently closed takeaway.
As part of Heart of the City II, Leah’s Yard will sit alongside the upcoming Cambridge Street Collective and Bethel Chapel developments – both currently under construction – that will feature a contemporary food hall, cookery school, fine dining experience and live entertainment spaces.
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