The University of Sheffield completed the purchase of the site in summer 2015 and has been in talks with the Henderson’s team ever since to ensure the landmark building could be transformed into a place the public can use and enjoy.
The building on Leavygreave Road will now be developed at the heart of the University as part of the masterplan to create a greener, more welcoming city centre campus.
Some initial concepts for how the pub might look have already been developed (see below) – and the University plans to hold a design competition for Sheffield architects to see who can come up with the best ideas for creating a contemporary development which maximises the use and potential of the space whilst retaining the original house at its centre.
“We know how much the old Henderson’s building means to the people of Sheffield,” said Keith Lilley, Director of Estates and Facilities Management at the University. “We’re delighted to have the chance to develop the building into something which our staff, students and the local community can really enjoy.
“An important part of our campus masterplan is to open up the University spaces for everyone – not just for our own students and staff – and improvements to the public realm in this area, with a new pub open to all, will help to bring the University to the city. The Henderson’s team will work with the University to display some of the company’s history within the new pub to keep the spirit of Henderson’s alive.
Pamela Freeman, Managing Director of Henderson’s, said her late husband Dr Kenneth Freeman, who inherited the business in 1991, would have been delighted with the plans.
“When we found out the building was going to remain we were over the moon,” she said. “My husband had always said he wished it could be kept.”
Henderson’s, as synonymous with Sheffield as steelworks, moved to its state-of-the-art new premises off the Sheffield Parkway in 2013 to meet growing demand. The University made the purchase of the building from the Church Burgesses Trust earlier this year.