Sheffield’s disused former central post office is to become a new home for the arts.
Hallam University has confirmed it will take over a long-term lease on the old Post Office building in Fitzalan Square.
It will use the Grade II-listed building, which has stood empty since 1999, as the new home for the Sheffield Institute of Art.
The university hopes the building will reopen for its new purpose by the end of the year.
It will be home to art and design courses, including fashion design, graphic design, fine art, product design, interior design and metalwork and jewellery.
Mark Swales, director of estates and facilities, said: “This new development is key to maintaining our excellent recruitment record, as well as creating an enhanced student experience and exciting research opportunities.
“Enhancing our existing buildings, whilst also participating in new opportunities in the city, are both crucial to delivering our estates strategy, which aims to create a flexible, innovative and sustainable campus.”
Fitzalan Square was home to the city’s main market area until the 1930s.
The building itself opened in 1910, operating as Sheffield’s head post office until 1999, when the Post Office moved into more modern premises nearby in the Co-op store in Angel Street.
Since then the building has fallen into disrepair, but once sympathetically refurbished it will be a fitting home for the Sheffield Institute of Art, which can trace its own history back to 1843.
Plans for the interior will provide teaching rooms and practice studios, as well as an exciting exhibition and event space.
Professor Sally Wade, director of the Sheffield Institute of Arts, said: “We are delighted by our move to the old Head Post Office in Fitzalan Square.
“This provides an opportunity to locate our excellent teaching and internationally-recognised research in art and design in the heart of Sheffield city centre.”
The official announcement follows development company Langland announcing at the start of this week that a deal was due to be signed with the university for the use of the building.
It is hoped the deal will revitalise Langland’s plans to build student flats on the rest of the site, on the corner of Flat Street and Pond Hill.