Sheffield’s Old Town Hall added to national risk list

Sheffield’s Old Town hall on Waingate has found itself on SAVE Britain’s National Buildings at Risk Register for the first time. 

SAVE Britain’s Heritage, a charity which publishes the list every year, works to find practical ways to restore historic structures. The Old Town Hall has been added to this year’s list, published in June 2018.

The Friends of the Old Town Hall, a campaign group aiming to restore the old building, has issued a statement on the listing. Joing honorary secretary Brian Holmshaw said: “We’re pleased to see the Old Town Hall on SAVE’s list, but sad for the reasons it got there. This backs up what we’ve been saying for the past three years, that the building can have a future if it’s restored before it falls to pieces. We know there’s a huge amount of damage inside after years of bad roof leaks but we also know it can all be fixed – though it’s going to cost a lot of money.”

The building has been disused since 1997, and has fallen into a state of disrepair ever since. The Friends group has suggested the building could be used as a workspace, meeting and conference space, food and drink and performance/rehearsal space.

Brian added: “We know from our architect who carried out a condition survey that the repair cost is so big that we can’t see any commercial future. A developer might just be able to make the numbers work if they were allowed to strip out all the historic features inside and radically alter the look of the place – basically, ruin it. That’s the professional advice we’ve had. But if that happens the city will have lost a major historic asset.”

The Friends group is looking to offer the community shares to raise money to buy the building. The building is currently owned by a company in London and has been vacant since the late 1990s.

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