Henderson’s Relish building: Plans lodged to turn Sheffield landmark into cafe or restaurant

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Plans have been lodged to convert the former Henderson’s Relish factory in Sheffield into a café, restaurant, or social space.

Its current owner, Sheffield University, has submitted the plans to Sheffield Council, but little detail of how it will look has yet been drawn up.

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The Star revealed last month that the university was committed to keeping the historic building, where the iconic Sheffield brand Henderson’s Relish was once manufactured, despite demolition signs around it.

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The former Hendersons Relish Building on Leavygreave Road, Sheffield. Plans have been submitted to use it as a cafe or restaurantThe former Hendersons Relish Building on Leavygreave Road, Sheffield. Plans have been submitted to use it as a cafe or restaurant
The former Hendersons Relish Building on Leavygreave Road, Sheffield. Plans have been submitted to use it as a cafe or restaurant

Documents accompanying the application say the site is considered sustainable development with its reuse of vacant brownfield land previously used as a former factory for Henderson’s Relish, a significant feature in Sheffield’s history, to which retention and reuse of the building will be prioritised.

Rance Booth Smith Architects plans

Phase one of the development, designed by Rance Booth Smith Architects, will retain three of the original facades.

Phase two, which would be subject to a future planning application and designs, would see expansion to the rear of the building.

A planning statement submitted with the application said: “The proposed site has been vacant since the Henderson’s Relish company relocated in 2013. Within this time, the buildings have deteriorated due to the requirements of its former use and therefore requires major work to become safe.

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"Although owned by The University of Sheffield, the building is intended to be for public use, not just for students, creating a diverse space for visitors and offering job creation opportunities.”

Leavygreave Road frontage ‘will retain connection to heritage’

It says the significant Leavygreave Road frontage ‘will retain the connection to heritage within the site’.

An internal structural steel frame will also be installed to support the basement, roof, and walls, and aid the retention of the property and create a cage support to secure it.

A structural Inspection identified roof problems, along with other areas of urgent attention.

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A partial strip-out of the internal timber is being done to deal with dry rot. Further removal of timber walls and floors internally are to be carried out, with any important architectural features preserved.

It added that at present, it has not been confirmed who will occupy the redeveloped site, so the building is being developed for easy adaption for future occupants, which it says is represented in the design at this stage.

Another of the planning documents describes the scheme as: “The redevelopment, conversion and change of use of the former Henderson's Relish Factory to a Class E use (ideally a cafe, restaurant, social/leisure space, but yet to be confirmed). This will include the retention of three of the original facades and rebuild of the fourth, as well as the demolition and rebuild of the rear warehouse.”

Henderson’s moved to a modern factory off Sheffield Parkway in 2013.

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Plans had previously been proposed to convert the building into a pub, but they were put on hold as the university reviewed its capital expenditure and the effects of the current Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2016 Sheffield‐based architects Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson had emerged as the winning team to design a proposed new Henderson’s Relish pub for the university following what was described as a hard‐fought architectural design competition.