Beautiful and historic Sheffield city centre building lies empty for two decades

This beautiful historic building in Sheffield city centre has now stood empty for more than two decades.

By Steven Ross
Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 4:00 pm
How the building looks today
How the building looks today

A planning application detailing alterations and the change of use of the former Salvation Army building on Cross Burgess Street was put forward by Tandem Properties and approved by Sheffield Council in March 2020.

However, in the 18 months since the plans were approved, it appears that no construction work has begun although major regeneration is underway on the adjacent Heart of the City transformation.

The building opened in 1894 as a headquarters for the Salvation Army. It was used for this purpose for more than a century, but has remained vacant since the SA moved out in 1999.

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The Salvation Army Citadel, Cross Burgess Street, Sheffield, August 1959

The site became a Grade II listed building in December 1995, meaning that it is of special interest and effort should be made to preserve it.

One condition of the plans that were approved is that the development begins within three years of the approval date, meaning that Tandem Properties has until March 2023 to begin work.

The plans, created by WMA Architects, included converting the building into a restaurant and bar, the formation of a rear terrace on the first floor, and making alterations to the windows and doorways.

Documents submitted to the council said many of the alterations will be in keeping with the original style of the building, as timber frames, slate roof tiles and brick and stone external walls will match the existing materials.

Inside the old Salvation Army Citadel building in Sheffield city centre. View from the stage on the first floor, April 2019

The first floor terrace is the most modern aspect of the design, as it will include wall sized windows and zinc cladding in contrast to the rest of the redbrick building.

Additionally, the application also shows the top of the first floor roof will be made of glass, allowing more light into the venue.

Over the last two decades the building has been covered in graffiti and grime, and if this renovation project does go ahead, it will no doubt take a lot of work.

However, the building represents part of Sheffield’s architectural history and the plans to convert it into a new restaurant could bring new life and energy into a building that has been forgotten for so long.

Major and Mrs Geoff Rowney outside the Salvation Army Citadel on Cross Burgess Street, Sheffield, January 1994

WMA Architects was approached for comment on the progress of the development but did not respond before the Telegraph went to press.