Sheffield’s historic buildings should be protected with a new trust, says councillor

A Building Preservation Trust should be created in Sheffield to protect the city’s heritage, says a councillor.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 12:09 pm

Broomhill councillor Brian Holmshaw wants to create a trust which would be rooted in communities and run by volunteers and experts who care for heritage and are committed to preserving and regenerating buildings.

He said: “For too long Sheffield’s historic buildings have been prey to the vagaries of economic change and developer whim.

“We have seen so many old structures destroyed in the name of progress, a car park or road scheme, or just left to rot because no one had the imagination to bring them back into life.

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“Over the years I’ve travelled round the country and looked at what’s happening on the ground, and the missing ingredient in our city has been a trust.

“With my background in heritage education I’ve worked with some of the best trusts in England, and visited others.

“From Newcastle, to Manchester to Birmingham they represent the finest in heritage skills, education, training and partnership community working, something that Sheffield could really do with.

“With over 100,000 members, these trusts have saved over 1,000 buildings and put billions of pounds of investment from both public and private funding into local economies over the years. Sheffield has not benefited from that up to now, but it could.”

The not-for-profit organisation could draw on funding which the council cannot.

Coun Holmshaw says buildings such as the Salvation Army Citadel on Cross Burgess Street could have their internal and external features restored and thrive.

He added: “The Plough at Crosspool with its powerful football and cricketing heritage is an existing asset of community value status being allowed to fall derelict.

“And Birley Spa bath house is crying out for a trust to help repurpose it for the 21st century and beyond.”

Coun Holmshaw is asking people to get in touch by emailing [email protected] and says he will be talking to Joined Up Heritage Sheffield, who also want to create a Building Preservation Trust, along with other groups.