1,000-bed student block for former Footprint tool factory site in Sheffield

The Footprint tools plant between Garden Street and Hollis Croft off Tenter Street, Sheffield
The Footprint tools plant between Garden Street and Hollis Croft off Tenter Street, Sheffield
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A historic former Sheffield tool factory is set to be demolished to make way for 1,000-bed student flats complex.

Work to flatten the Footprint Tools works could start as soon as next month after approval was granted in March.

London-based Avenue Capital Student Real Estate wants to erect several tower blocks on the site, on each side of Hollis Croft, off Tenter Street in the city centre.

Michael Edgar, director of DLP planning consultants, said it would be a multi-million pound scheme to create the type of high-spec accommodation demanded by students today.

He added: “There is plenty of demand from what we are hearing. Cities such as Leeds and Bristol have up to 60 per cent of students in purpose-built accommodation. Sheffield has 28 per cent.

“One benefit is that it frees up housing in residential suburbs such as Broomhill. There will always be a student presence there, but it’s the proportion.

“Students make a positive contribution to the city culturally and economically, it can only be good for business.”

The project will be larger than the 397-bed Sharman Court development under construction on nearby Broad Lane.

A full planning application is set to be submitted in the summer and could be approved at the end of September, Mr Edgar added.

Building work could start in 2017 with the accommodation ready in time for the 2018 academic year.

The Footprint Tools factory was in operation from 1900 until 2009.

The firm can trace its history back to the 1760’s when Alfred Ridge & Sons was established as a manufacturer of wood working tools. Ridge was bought by the current owning family in 1932.

The Footprint brand originates from 1875 when Thomas R Ellin, a member of a cutlery manufacturing family, started a tool manufacturing business.

In 2008 Footprint moved to a larger factory at Owlerton and invested in new equipment, but the recession hit and in early 2009 it was forced to restructure and rename the firm Footprint Sheffield Limited.