Bringing chapel back from dead

Proposals are being put together to turn an old chapel at Sheffield General Cemetery  into a visitor centre. Akex Quant and Catie Evans by the chapel
Proposals are being put together to turn an old chapel at Sheffield General Cemetery into a visitor centre. Akex Quant and Catie Evans by the chapel
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Plans to breathe new life into a Sheffield cemetery building are a step closer.

Conservationists behind a campaign to re-open the Grade II-listed Nonconformist Chapel in Sharrow’s General Cemetery as a public arts venue look set to land funding for the project this week.

The South Yorkshire Building Preservation Trust could start work on the project as soon as September if an application for £200,000 from English Heritage and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation is given the go-ahead.

The Nonconfirmist Chapel, built in 1836, has been boarded up for the past 40 years.

Catie Evans, of the South Yorkshire Building Preservation Trust, said: “The past year has been about drawing up a business plan and looking at how we would run it, now everything is in place and we are just waiting to hear about the funding.

“I don’t think many people in Sheffield realise what a significant site it is.

“Nationally it’s one of the oldest remaining garden cemeteries and there are 10 listed monuments in the area.”

Plans are in place to bring the building back into use as an education centre for the Sheffield General Cemetery Trust and provide a space for art exhibitions, music performances and community events.

Project leaders have been in talks with Tramlines and Off the Shelf festivals about using the venue in the future.

Catie added: “It’s such a lovely little building. One of the things we got from public consultation is that people would like to see it host arts events.

“It’s only 100-capacity but it would be a great place for people to go.”