See inside Sheffield’s historic Citadel building, which could become city’s newest restaurant

One of the best-known landmarks in Sheffield city centre could be set for a new lease of life as a restaurant.

By Robert Cumber
Tuesday, 23 April, 2019, 12:14

The Grade II-listed old Citadel building beside John Lewis on Burgess Street has stood empty since the Salvation Army left their former headquarters in 1999.

But an application has now been submitted to convert the distinctive premises, with its elaborate red brick facade, into a restaurant or bar.

The old Salvation Army Citadel building, which has been empty since 1999

Developer Tandem Properties claims this is the ‘best opportunity’ of reviving the building, which opened in 1894.

It is the latest in a long list of proposals for the property, with Tandem only last year granted permission to convert it into a shopping unit.

But as Sheffield Council pushes ahead with its £500 million Heart of the City II redevelopment of the city centre, where shops, offices, homes, hotels and a new food hall are planned, could this be the project which finally gets off the ground?

Inside the old Salvation Army Citadel building in Sheffield city centre. View from the first floor up towards the upper tier

The latest plans to be submitted state: “This scheme aims to bring the Citadel back into public use through refurbishment and conversion. Planning policy and the location of the building within the city’s most popular retail district suggest that this is the best opportunity to compliment the ‘Heart of the City’ offer.

“The proposals aim to modernise the interior of the Citadel, making it fit for its purpose whilst at the same time retaining the important architectural features which give the building its character…

“The Citadel is located in the centre of the city in an already established shopping area. The conversion of the Citadel from a vacant building into a food and drink outlet or drinking establishment will assist in the regeneration of this part of the city centre and also help boost the local economy.

Inside the old Salvation Army Citadel building in Sheffield city centre. The first floor ceiling

“For many people the Citadel holds an important place within Sheffield’s architectural heritage. The conversion of the building will help it back into popular public use and enable the local community to engage with it once again.”

The application includes photos offering a rare glimpse inside the building, which appears to be in remarkably good condition considering how long it has been abandoned.

The Citadel opened in January 1894 as the headquarters of the Salvation Army in Sheffield, according to the application, and cost £7,500 to build.

Inside the old Salvation Army Citadel building in Sheffield city centre. View of the stage on the first floor

It has not been used since the Salvation Army moved to Psalter Lane, in Sharrow, in 1999.

The auditorium on the first floor could seat 1,800 people, with the application described how it was one of Sheffield’s ‘foremost performance spaces’.

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The building’s exterior would remain largely as it is, according to the plans, with minor alterations to allow more daylight inside.

The existing entrance on Cross Burgess Street would become a glazed window, and the central windows would be replaced by a pair of glazed doors with a canopy, acting as the new main entrance.

The ‘Salvation Army Citadel’ lettering would be retained, with plans for a new business sign above.

Inside, the proposal states that the aim is to ‘modernise’ the premises while ‘retaining the openness and important architectural features which

Inside the old Salvation Army Citadel building in Sheffield city centre. Ground floor

give the building its character’.

The auditorium would be kept as a single open space, with the proscenium wall retained too, but the tiered seating on the first floor would be removed to maximise the floorspace available.

As with the previous application, the ground and first floors would accommodate customers, with the basement and a new second floor where there is currently a gallery becoming staff and storage areas.

The deadline for comments is Wednesday, May 8, according to the council’s planning portal, which says a decision is due by June 5.

The Star has attempted to contact Tandem to find out more about the plans and when work would be likely to start should permission be granted, but the developer has yet to respond.

To view the planning application, visit planningapps.sheffield.gov.uk/online-applications and search 19/01002/LBC.

Inside the old Salvation Army Citadel building in Sheffield city centre. View of the lighting booth on the first floor
Inside the old Salvation Army Citadel building in Sheffield city centre. View from the upper tier
Inside the old Salvation Army Citadel building in Sheffield city centre. View from the first floor looking towards Cross Burgess Street
Inside the old Salvation Army Citadel building in Sheffield city centre. The ground floor kitchen
Inside the old Salvation Army Citadel building in Sheffield city centre. View from the main entrance on the ground floor