Spring 2024 is pencilled in for opening. Credit: via Altitude

Leah’s Yard closes on early 2024 opening

The redevelopment of the grade two-listed building in Sheffield’s Cambridge Street has hit a milestone, with the highest point of construction reached.

Completion in spring 2024 is the aim of the project, part of the Heart of the City development led by Sheffield City Council and development partner Queensberry.

The former collection of small industrial workshops is currently being transformed into a new social hub for creative independent businesses.

Leah’s Yard was recently removed from Historic England’s ‘Building at Risk’ register following preliminary structural and roof work, which has brought the building back into usable condition.

Work on adding a complementary and sympathetic extension to the building, designed to vastly improve public accessibility and create extra commercial space, began earlier this year and the steel structure has now hit its peak.

Representatives of lead contractor RF Joinery, Turner & Townsend and Lathams, alongside Tom Wolfenden and James O’Hara – the future venue operators – joined the developers on site for the ceremony.

Cllr Ben Miskell, chair of the transport, regeneration and climate policy committee at Sheffield City Council, said: “We are delighted to see Leah’s Yard reach this milestone. The redevelopment of this cherished heritage ensures that the building will remain a key focal point in our city centre for decades to come.

“This new hub for independent retailers and creative workshops will deliver a modern, fresh and vibrant destination – one that really reflects what Sheffield is all about.”

Andrew Davison, project director at Queensberry, added: “Leah’s Yard is progressing well and on track to open early next year. The plans for this space are completely unique and, alongside the neighbouring Cambridge Street Collective food hall and live entertainment venue in Bethel Chapel, we expect it to become the social and cultural heartbeat of the city centre.”

The Cambridge Street Collective food hall will be operated by Blend Family and is looking to open this autumn.

Once completed in Spring 2024, the venue will be run by Tom Wolfenden, who manages the Cooper Buildings on Arundel Street, and James O’Hara, who runs bars such as Public and Picture House Social.

The duo plan to breathe new life into the site by transforming it into an experience-led destination for local independent retailers and businesses, creative workshops and social events. A bustling central public courtyard will be surrounded by small boutique shops, while the first and second floors will host around 20 independent working studios.

Wolfenden said: “It’s been a long journey to get to this point, but we’re delighted to finally see the end in sight and can’t wait to open next summer. On the upper floors we’re already starting tours of the offices and studios to build our tenant community.”

O’Hara added: “We’re also speaking to independent retailers and starting to map out the exciting tenant mix within the courtyard. We can’t say much at the moment but get ready for some big news over the coming months.”

The venue will be operated by Tom Wolfenden and James O’Hara. Credit: via Altitude

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As a family member, Henry Leah was my maternal Grandfather, I am delighted to see his name carry on through this development in Cambridge Street, Sheffield, in the City where I was born. Now living in Canada, I hope to see the project at some point in the future. It looks amazing.

By Frances Munster

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