Kelham Island Conservation Area, Sheffield
For many years the imposing gateway to Green Lane Works was hidden behind hoardings and the elegant clocktower was supported by scaffolding to prevent its collapse. Now repaired, this magnificent gateway is the main point of entry to a thriving, vibrant mixed-use site where characterful historic buildings sit comfortably alongside new energy-efficient dwellings.
Where: Kelham Island, Sheffield
Years on register: 2012–2018
Important industrial heritage at risk
In 1998, following a major thematic survey by English Heritage (now Historic England), a substantial number of former metal trades buildings were entered on the Heritage at Risk Register for the Sheffield area. Many of these were in the Kelham Island Conservation Area.
In the 19th century, Sheffield was the world centre of steel production, cutlery and edge tool production. A book ‘One Great Workshop: The Buildings of the Sheffield Metal Trades’ was published by English Heritage in 2001 demonstrating how the metal trades of Sheffield affected the lives of its people and shaped the development of the city and its region. It also highlighted the plight of former industrial buildings in a new economic era. This piece of research was the impetus for English Heritage/Historic England’s commitment to finding innovative solutions that would repair these buildings so that they could employ and house people once more.
A new lease of life
Work to repair Green Lane Works has recently been completed in partnership with Leeds-based developer Citu. This is the latest of the Kelham Island metal trades buildings to be reinvigorated and given a new lease of life.
For many years the imposing Grade II* listed gateway to Green Lane Works was hidden behind hoardings and the elegant clocktower was obscured by scaffolding that was put in place to prevent its collapse. Now repaired, this magnificent gateway, described by Pevsner as ‘The most spectacular survival of factory architecture at Sheffield’, is once again a landmark on the city’s skyline. It is the main point of entry to a thriving, vibrant mixed-use site where characterful historic buildings sit comfortably alongside new energy-efficient dwellings.
How we made a difference
Historic England was able to provide funding to make economically unviable projects possible.
This area is an excellent example of how historic buildings can be successfully integrated into new developments to create attractive and sustainable places. It takes the vision to see how a neglected building could be the catalyst for an area-based regeneration. We have experience from supporting large-scale heritage regeneration projects like this. They don't happen overnight but our support is there for the long haul.
Kelham Island Conservation Area is now a vibrant and thriving place where people can live, work and enjoy their leisure time in what is now considered one of the most exciting parts of the city.
When you regenerate an area with great history, it's really important to maintain the best elements of the past while making them relevant to new generations. That's exactly what we've done with Green Lane Works and Eagle Works, two behemoths of Sheffield's industrial past.