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Fears for future of iconic Sheffield factory

The former Henderson's Relish building on Leavygreave Road, Sheffield. Pic: Sarah Washbourn.

The former Henderson's Relish building on Leavygreave Road, Sheffield. Pic: Sarah Washbourn.

It is the iconic building where Sheffield’s favourite sauce was made for more than 70 years.

Now, however, fears have emerged the old Henderson’s Relish factory on Leavygreave Road could be demolished.

The plant has been left vacant since the condiment company moved production to a new processing complex off the Parkway.

And The Church Burgess Trust, the charity which owns the early 20th century building, has refused to rule out the possibility it could be knocked down to make way for new development.

The Star understands Sheffield University, which owns vast swathes of the surrounding area, would be keen to add the land to its portfolio. But it is doubtful it would be able to make use of the building itself due to its slight lurch.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that now Henderson’s has left, the building will be knocked down at some point,” said Howard Greaves, of the Hallamshire Historic Building Society. “It would be a huge shame but there is very little could be done to save it.

“I briefly considered contacting English Heritage to see if there was any way it could be listed but, in reality, I just don’t think it has the historical merit. Of course, there is an emotional attachment there for Sheffield people but, as a building, it has no real features of outstanding merit or importance.

“I can’t see anyone taking it on in its current state. It’s not practical. So the logical conclusion is the building gets demolished and the land is developed. It’s a pity.”

The building has taken a semi-mythical status in Sheffield’s conscious.

Richard Hawley famously had a birthday party there and Joe Elliot, the Def Leppard frontman who now lives in Ireland, bought a painting of the plant to remind him of home.

The Church Burgess Trust, which is based in Balm Green, refused to comment on the growing speculation.

Karen Hobson, charities administrator, said: “This is a private matter.”

 

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