Age UK get £50,000 to turn a historic Sheffield building into a dementia cafe

Representatives from Sheffield City Council, Age UK Sheffield and Friends of Hillsborough Park outside the old coach house in Hillsborough Park
Representatives from Sheffield City Council, Age UK Sheffield and Friends of Hillsborough Park outside the old coach house in Hillsborough Park

Age UK Sheffield have been granted £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to build a dementia-friendly cafe in an unused Grade II-listed building.

An abandoned coach house in Hillsborough Park, that was last used as a munitions store during WW2, is set to get a total make-over.

The old coach house in Hillsborough Park

The old coach house in Hillsborough Park

By 2020 it will be made 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. 

Steve Chu, Age UK Sheffield chief executive, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic news, to get the Heritage Lottery Fund on board is really amazing and hopefully it will bring a piece of heritage back into use that has been unavailable to the people of Sheffield for so many years.

“We’ve been working on the project for about a year, it’s been a lot of hard work to get it to this stage and a lot of hard work still to do. But getting support is a massive hurdle to overcome. We are now in the development stage and are going to try and bring the project to a point where we can go back to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the full amount and get it completed.

“It’s going to be a fantastic resource for older people in Sheffield, it will be a new older people’s centre dedicated to providing patient advice, services and activities for older people and particularly those living with dementia. Also for the local community in Hillsborough, regular surveys from the council prove people want toilets and cafes in the park and we want to provide that as well.”

This initial £49,700 is the first step towards full funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and they hope to receive the rest by next summer.

Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for transport and development at Sheffield City Council, said: “We are a city that takes its heritage seriously and I know this old coach house has long been identified as a building which needs investment and major improvement. Age UK Sheffield have offered a compelling vision for how a dementia-friendly café could operate in the community, and this has been supported by Heritage Lottery Fund.

“With careful support, this could be something that benefits all age groups in Sheffield – and provides a lasting legacy for years to come.”

Coun Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure, said: “Hillsborough park is already one of our absolute jewels and plays host to a year-round calendar of events, activities and social occasions. This is a fantastic project which will help thousands of people across the city and their carers and friends, giving them dignity and support and ensuring they can tackle dementia together in a constructive and compassionate way.

“What’s more, this facility will provide vital café and toilet facilities at one of our city’s most beautiful and popular parks. We look forward to working with Age UK Sheffield, the Friends of Hillsborough Park and other community groups to help these plans develop further.”