Gaumont and Kingdom building: Planning application outlines future of landmark site of former cinema and club

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The future of the building on what was once the site of Sheffield’s iconic former Gaumont cinema has been outlined in a new planning application.

The front of the former cinema has been transformed under Sheffield’s multi-million pound Heart of the City redevelopment scheme, with the boards recently removed from the building.

And now a planning application has been submitted to Sheffield City Council to explain what a future use for the building will be.

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It is outlined in documents which have been sent to Sheffield City Council this week.

It would see a big section of the building used as a drinking venue.

The planning application is asking the council to change current planning permission for part of the site, described as unit two, which is currently described as retail, to allow use its use ‘as a drinking establishment’.

The former Gaumont site as it appears now. Photo: David Kessen, National WorldThe former Gaumont site as it appears now. Photo: David Kessen, National World
The former Gaumont site as it appears now. Photo: David Kessen, National World | National World

The planning application has been submitted by planning consultants Nineteen47 acting on behalf of Sheffield Council.

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It states in a covering letter: “The application is submitted in support of a chance of use from class E (retail) to Sui Generis (drinking establishment). The proposed change of use is intended to support the occupation of the currently vacant unit by a new operator.

“The site has operated as a retail unit since the 1980s but has been vacant for several years. Since the unit was last in use, the area has undergone extensive regeneration and the proposal will support the continuation of this regeneration initiative.

It said the site was currently unoccupied and it was considered that the planned change would make use of an empty site and increase the vitality of the city centre.

The said it would enhance Sheffield’s night time and leisure offer.

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It added: “The venue will be well managed and will take account of local amenity. The premises are proposed to operate seven days a week with operating hours of 8am to 2am.”

It is still not known who will be the operator of the site, which forms part of a £470m regeneration project.

Sheffield Council said earlier this year that tenants were being discussed as part of the ongoing process, with more news expected to be announced later in the year.

The planning permission for the project that is emerging was first submitted in September 2020.

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Developers said last year that they hoped to re-open the building in 2024, and that there had been talks with a company over a leisure use for the building, which was also once the site of the Kingdom nightclub.

The site was home to the Regent cinema from 1927. It became the Gaumont in 1946. Following demolition in 1985, a new building became an Odeon cinema then nightclubs Kingdom and finally Embrace.

The last event was in December 2019. The former cinema today comprises one huge space and a second smaller one.

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It was originally planned that it should be knocked down, but was retained to save money and be more environmentally friendly.

Delia Harmston, architects HLM’s studio lead on the project, said in 2020 that the final concept for the façade was a 'playful reinterpretation' of features of the Regent Cinema.

She said: "The new façade provides an elegant and refined addition to Barker’s Pool which respects the civic location of the site. To the corner of Barker’s Pool and Burgess Street a double height entrance has been formed, creating a generous public entrance to the building."

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