Parish praise for plans to turn church into student hub

Unite Students wants to redevelop the St Vincent's Church site off Solly Street, Sheffield.
Unite Students wants to redevelop the St Vincent's Church site off Solly Street, Sheffield.
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Religious leaders have welcomed plans to refurbish a 19th century Sheffield church as part of a large student complex.

Unite Students has revealed plans to build a 574-bed apartment complex off Solly Street in the city centre.

Unite Students wants to redevelop the St Vincent's Church site off Solly Street, Sheffield.

Unite Students wants to redevelop the St Vincent's Church site off Solly Street, Sheffield.

The site includes St Vincent's Church and a former working men's club, and the firm wants to turn the church building into a student 'hub' with teaching space and common rooms. The club facade would also be kept.

A planning application has been submitted to Sheffield Council.

Father Patrick Walsh said his parish was 'delighted' to be working with United Students and 'enthusiastic' about plans for St Vincent's Church.

He added: "The site has a long history as a spiritual home for Catholics arriving in Sheffield from afar, particularly Italy and Ireland, and it also has sentimental significance for many people who were baptised, got married or worshipped there before the church building closed in 1996.

"For this reason we are very pleased that the plans are sensitive to the site’s history and heritage. We are also pleased that the parish will retain ownership of the old school building, which we aim to refurbish to ensure a continuing church presence.”

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Alongside the refurbishment work, Unite Students wants to put up two new buildings on the St Vincent's site. Public and private courtyard areas would be created between the buildings.

Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson, the original architects for the church, are working on the new scheme.

The firm's managing director for property Richard Simpson said: “Not only will our proposals deliver vibrant, modern student accommodation in a highly sustainable location, but they will also help to rejuvenate the area and reinstate a key historic asset within the city.

"Importantly, we are proposing buildings of an appropriate height and scale for their location, using high quality materials which take reference from their surroundings and create an attractive addition to the street scene. We look forward to continuing our engagement with Sheffield Council in the coming months”.

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