Sheffield charity gets go-ahead to start redevelopment of unused Grade II-listed building

Years of hard work will soon pay off for a Sheffield charity as they have been given the greenlight to start the redevelopment of an unused historic building and turn it into a dementia-friendly community hub.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 2:45 pm
Updated Monday, 15th March 2021, 2:48 pm

Age UK Sheffield said they are excited to announce that they have received formal permission from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to begin the transformation work of the Old Coach House in Hillsborough Park, after signing the lease with Sheffield City Council.

The project, which has been described as a “big step forward”, will see the local charity convert the Grade II-listed building into a cafe and community hub that provides activities and events for the community.

Officially signed on March 1, the lease includes a long-term lease for both the Old Coach House building and the Potting Shed that sits to the side of the Walled Garden.

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Artist's impression of the Old House community hub. Picture by Age UK Sheffield

Once converted, Age UK Sheffield said the Potting Shed will be used to provide dementia-friendly activities from crafting and woodwork to gardening and sewing.

The charity said they are hoping that the restoration and building work will begin in next month.

In a statement, Steve Chu Age UK Sheffield CEO, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the lease has been signed and we have been given the go-ahead from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to begin turning this plan into a reality.

Artist's impression of the Old House cafe. Picture by Age UK Sheffield

"The project is going to have such a positive impact on the community and provide some amazing opportunities for older people across Sheffield to engage in inclusive and exciting activities and events, which will have a real positive impact on reducing the loneliness and isolation faced by so many.”

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council said: “Hillsborough Park is already one of Sheffield’s most popular parks, but this development will really take it to the next level.

"As well as the important benefits the scheme will bring to those living with dementia, it will also provide brand new cafe and toilet facilities to all visitors, and will preserve the wonderful heritage of the Old Coach House building.

"With developments also progressing for our All Wheeled Bike track, Hillsborough Park is set to be a real leisure destination, serving many communities and improving the lives of local people. I can’t wait to see it take shape later this year.”

It was reported in December 2018 that the Sheffield charity were granted £50,000 from the National Heritage Lottery Fund to turn the unused Grade II-listed building to build a dementia-friendly cafe.

The abandoned coach house was last used as a munitions store during World War II.

Once it is ready, it is expected to be made more more accessible with staff training and an extension and is expected to be used by thousands of people, as well as create jobs and volunteering opportunities.

To keep up to date with this project and find out more information or what the new community hub will have to offer, please visit: ageuk.org.uk/sheffield.

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