Interest builds in revamp of Sheffield’s Old Town Hall

editorial image
Have your say

Developers have expressed interest in reviving Sheffield’s Old Town Hall - back on the market with a reduced price of £1.25 million.

The Grade II listed building, which closed 20 years ago and once housed the city’s law courts and council headquarters, was put up for sale briefly last September through a London agent with a £2 million asking price.

But now Sheffield property firm Fernie Greaves has been appointed to handle the sale.

Tim Bottrill, the company’s director, said: “We’ve approached a plethora of developers to see if they are interested. We’ve got a good level of interest. I think the building could suit a whole range of uses, from residential to commercial to a hotel or offices. I think there’s a desire from most parties within the city to see it brought back to life.”

The Old Town Hall, on Waingate, was built in 1808 and is currently owned by G1 London Property. In 2007 it was placed on the Victorian Society’s list of the most at-risk buildings in the UK.

Mr Bottrill added: “What the client told us is that they tried with a London agent, but they didn’t get anywhere and didn’t get any viewings, so they wanted to try someone on the ground that understands, and has knowledge of, the local marketplace.”

Valerie Bayliss, chair of the Friends of the Old Town Hall, said: “We’re glad at least that the owners have seen sense in appointing a local agent.”

But she said the hall’s condition was deteriorating ‘very quickly’.

“It is not an easy building to re-use, because of the massive Victorian courtrooms, but there are possibilities for it. We’ve always had a very open mind, although we would like to see it in some kind of community or public use.

“It’s going to need a very large sum of money spending on it, into double digits of millions.

“But getting the building restored and saved is the most important thing.”

A revamp of the Old Town Hall would further the ambition of regenerating the Castlegate area. Demolition of the old Castle Market is due to be completed by the end of February.

St Vincent’s Church, on Solly Street, is the newest addition to the Victorian Society’s list of Sheffield’s most at-risk buildings.

The church has been empty for 18 years and has been damaged by vandals.