The Star Says: Hendo’s building can show city’s history

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First of all it is to be welcomed that the University of Sheffield has bought the iconic former home of legendary sauce Henderson’s Relish.

Henderson’s is something that the city is very proud about and woe betide any outsiders who dare to cast doubt about whether it is the world’s No 1 condiment. MP Jim Dowd suggested the Steel City’s favourite sauce was a ‘copy’ of some other product and was on the end of a social media backlash.

And quite right too.

So it is good news that the building where the firm was based for so long is in the hands of another Sheffield institution.

However, now the decision must be made about what will be done with it.

Henderson’s say the university has invited them to work with them to develop a permanent legacy.

What we know so far is that staff moved out two years ago and the building has been closed since.

It is set to keep its front and side signs and will form part of the university’s masterplan to create a greener city centre campus.

One idea, suggested by our political reporter Ellen Beardmore, is for the building to be turned into something similar to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin but with a pie bar instead of a beer bar.

All pie lovers would be hard-pressed to find a better suggestion than that!

On a more serious note it is heartening that an important part of the city’s heritage is seemingly in safe hands.

There is a fine line to tread between keeping a city’s identity and not being stuck in the past at all costs.

The decision to make big changes to a section of Devonshire Street in the city centre has outraged many people and it is the same with mature trees being chopped down in the suburbs.

Sheffield has some beautiful old buildings, which provide much of the city’s character.

Nobody is saying that nothing can ever be changed but we must be careful what is destroyed in the name of progress.

Buildings are loved because of the role they have played over many years.

It takes a long time to build up their reputation but only minutes with a wrecking ball to raze them to the ground.

There is a tremendous opportunity with the Henderson’s building to demonstrate what can be done with an iconic property.

We can’t wait to see what it becomes.