A new life for The Beauchief – ‘one of the most exclusive addresses in Sheffield’

From railway station hotel to restaurant, wedding venue and now private homes – The Beauchief has had a varied history.

By richard.blackledge1
Saturday, 6th April 2019, 6:00 am

The smart stone building was constructed in 1900 to serve passengers at Abbeydale Station on the Sheffield to London line, but closed to hotel guests and diners at the end of 2015, a move blamed on rising maintenance costs.

The site was duly sold and city developer Brantingham Homes has taken on the task of turning the place into luxury residences. Work is still under way but buyers – many with a sentimental connection to the former venue – have already moved in.

Thirty homes are being provided in total – six apartments in the main building, another 12 flats in a new block at the back, and 12 detached family homes on the old car park.

The old Beauchief Hotel on Abbeydale Road which has been turned into homes. Picture: Scott Merrylees

Mark Bradbury, of Brantingham, said the scheme seemed the best way forward after the hotel closed, cutting the risk of the building being left empty. Before renovations started, the premises were occupied by half a dozen property guardians, so-called ‘legal squatters’ who pay a cut-price rent to live in disused buildings, keeping them safe from burglary and damage.

“The suburb of Beauchief has always been a popular place to live due to its access into the city centre and proximity to the Peak District, and has become even more popular in recent years,” said Mark. “The need for new homes in the area meant that, after The Beauchief closed its doors for the final time in 2015, it made sense to look to repurpose the property and the land around it to provide these new homes, and to ensure a prominent site wasn’t left vacant.”

The Victorian building became the Beauchief Hotel in 1914 before shutting in 1961, coinciding with the closure of the railway station. It was then occupied by several owners under various guises, with its most successful period coming in the 1980s and 90s under the management of Michel Limon. The restaurant’s final iteration was Jack Baker’s Brasserie.

Mark said: “Sheffield is home to some incredible buildings, which have played an important part in our past and deserve to be brought back to life. As a company founded here, we take incredible pride in transforming these buildings into stunning living spaces that will contribute to our city’s future.

The old Beauchief Hotel site on Abbeydale Road which has been turned into homes. Mark Bradbury from developer Brantingham Homes with subcontractor John Foster from Oakbrook Estates. Picture Scott Merrylees

“We took on the well-known Beauchief building and are reinventing the site with an ambitious renovation and new-build project that will create one of the most exclusive addresses in Sheffield.

“We understand the importance of the former hotel building to the area and are proud to have carefully restored it to its former glory, sitting on the corner of Abbeydale Road South and Abbey Lane.”

Interest in the properties has been 'extremely high’, he said – only two of the flats remain unsold. The remaining eight family homes will be built as sales are agreed. Prices range from £165,000 to £700,000.

“Many of the buyers have declared an emotional family link back to the old Beauchief Hotel, which is lovely to hear and really reaffirms why we choose to take on these challenging schemes," said Mark. “Some of the new residents dined there regularly, stayed there, or attended family functions.”

The old Beauchief Hotel site on Abbeydale Road which has been turned into homes. Mark Bradbury from developer Brantingham Homes. Picture Scott Merrylees

Brantingham was founded 30 years ago. Its previous renovation projects include Westbourne Manor in Broomhill and The Cutlery Factory on Lambert Street in Sheffield city centre, while the company is also behind Ashton Works, a housing development in the St Vincent’s Quarter that aims to tackle loneliness through communal spaces to cook, dine and socialise.

“The company is passionate about regenerating the city we work in,” said Mark.

“We enjoy the challenge of taking our city’s old buildings, which are often derelict, and reimagining them to create high-quality, unique spaces that not only look stunning, but also stand the test of time.”

In addition, the firm will oversee Kangaroo Works, a £50 million block of more than 340 apartments that forms part of the council-led Heart of the City II scheme in the middle of Sheffield. A planning application for the complex, named after a demolished tool factory that stood on the site near Devonshire Green in the early 19th century, is to be submitted soon and construction could begin by the end of this year.

The old Beauchief Hotel site on Abbeydale Road which has been turned into homes. Mark Bradbury from developer Brantingham Homes (centre) with the development team. Picture Scott Merrylees