Theatre Delicatessen, which has transformed the empty Woolworths store on The Moor into a performance space and pop-up art centre, is having to move out.
The building is being readied for the Phase 3 redevelopment of The Moor due to be completed in 2019 with an-as-yet-unannounced retail chain destined to move in.
After the Migration Matters Festival next week Theatre Delicatessen will relocate to smaller premises in a former Mothercare store lower down The Moor and open up again in the autumn.
“It was never going to be a permanent building for us and The Moor has been transformed while we have been here,” said Sarah Sharp, Theatre Delicatessen’s producer in Sheffield.
“When we signed it was supposed to be for nine months and we are still here two-and-a-half years later.“
It is an offshoot of the organisation which started in London in 2007, working with property developers to bring temporary life to vacant buildings awaiting redevelopment.
In Sheffield it has been UK Aberdeen Asset Management plc whose head of retail asset management, Phil Huby, said: “Theatre Delicatessen has been a great addition to The Moor, contributing to the growing community and by bringing a wider group of people to the area, either to attend or to participate in their various events.
“We are therefore delighted that they want to stay in the city centre and we are pleased that The Moor is able to offer them an alternative temporary location whilst they look for a permanent home.”
The Mothercare shop provides a big ground floor space and also a studio theatre but they would prefer something bigger, and remain on the lookout for any other potential longer-term facility in the city centre.
The former Yorkshire Bank on Castlegate is one possibility, said Sarah. “It has four floors overall and is at one end of the proposed Knowledge Gateway.”
The problem is that Yorkshire Bank has a lease until 2022, but only for part of the building, and tracking down the people who make up the ‘superior’ landlord is proving difficult. “It seems to be a particular problem in Sheffield,” said Jessica Brewster, founding member and co-artistic director of Theatre Delicatessen.
1 Migration Matters Festival: p39