Town Hall floodlights unfixed for five years

Sheffield Town Hall
Sheffield Town Hall

Sheffield City Council have not switched on the Town Hall’s floodlights for five years due to a lack of funding.

It was revealed when members of the Sheffield Vulcan Rotary Club planned to illuminate the Grade I-listed building as part of a centenary event.

At the event 1,000 beacons will be lit across the country, including Sheffield, to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.

Roger Hart, of the Sheffield Vulcan Rotary Club, said he was disappointed to hear the lights were not functioning.

“Sheffield means the Town Hall”, he said.

“To think that is not able to be illuminated is upsetting. It’s seriously letting people down.”

He added that people will still be able to see the iconic Sheffield landmark as a backdrop to the event and, if required, will bring some lights of their own. 

Neil Dawson, director of transport and facilities management at the council, said the lights were isolated and made safe five years ago following water damage but the cost of replacement is not yet known.

He added: “The floodlights outside the Town Hall are in need of a full replacement, but the area is well lit by street lamps.

“We hope to complete a range of refurbishments of the Town Hall in the future, but unfortunately, working within a constrained budget across a demanding estate means we must make sure the services with the most need are prioritised.

“Looking around the city it’s clear to see how the council’s capital programme is being delivered, with major investment in infrastructure, flood defences, building new homes and transforming the city centre through the exciting new retail quarter.”

Fortunately, Paul Inoff, the engineer looking after the sound and light for the centenary event, said they will manage more than fine without the floodlights and that they may have contrasted too much next to the beacon.

Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure, said: “We are proud that Sheffield will take part in commemorations of the centenary of the end of World War One, including the lighting of 1000 beacons across the UK, where the contributions of the people of Sheffield will be remembered,” she said.

“Lighting Sheffield’s beacon outside of the Town Hall provides a central location that gives everyone who wishes the opportunity to take part in reflecting on the events of the war and I hope many people will join us in this moment of remembrance.”

The event, which is open to the public, will take place in the Peace Gardens on Sunday, November 11, with the beacon being lit at 7pm.