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The council has recently announced a package of improvements to the old town hall on Waingate
The council has recently announced a package of improvements to the old town hall on Waingate

Historic times for new city heritage strategy

A two-day event this weekend will mark a big step forward in the creation of the city’s first heritage strategy.

Joined Up Heritage Sheffield (JUHS), a group of community organisations representing a wide range of heritage interests, will launch its vision for the future of Sheffield’s heritage at two events, on Friday 13 October and Saturday 14 October at Sheffield Hallam University, supported by Sheffield City Council.

The strategy is the first step towards developing an action plan to look at some of the city’s most historic buildings, such as the Old Town Hall, as well as putting a city-wide focus on how to best protect the city’s current “jewels” and encourage more volunteers to work at attractions such as Manor Lodge.

The events on Friday and Saturday will launch the framework with input from keynote speakers and opportunities to discuss implementation and next steps. Speakers include Rob Murfin, head of planning at Sheffield City Council.

The Council is supporting the Joined Up Heritage Sheffield project and will continue to work on programmes such as Stuck Sites which can unlock eyesore and at risk buildings for future sympathetic development.

Councillor Ben Curran, cabinet member for planning and development at Sheffield City Council, said: “We are pleased to be working with community partners to develop a joined up heritage strategy for the city. There are passionate people wanting to preserve Sheffield’s rich history for future generations and having this strategy in place means heritage can be protected in a sensible and pragmatic way.

“It’s important to work together to ensure the strategy is inclusive and rooted in the community.”

Councillor Ian Saunders, the council’s heritage champion, said: “I’d urge people to attend these events to make their views on the city’s heritage known. We have an enviable history and have made some great steps forward in recent years with programmes such as Castlegate – now this strategy can build a common approach to protecting and enhancing our heritage offer.

“We are already very much adopting the ‘joined-up ‘ approach to heritage in Sheffield’s historic core of Castlegate ,  based on a shared strategy which brings together heritage with economic regeneration, climate change resilience and sustainable transport.

“With an initial commitment of £800,000 by the Council we are now developing proposals with a partnership of heritage groups, both Universities , cultural organisations, local businesses and hoteliers, the Environment Agency and Canal and Rivers Trust. The partnership will be mounting a series of educational, community engagement and consultation events starting with the archaeological investigation of the castle ruins due to commence early in 2018.”

Jon Bradley, chair of JUHS, added: “This is a huge step we’re taking. Sheffield needs a heritage strategy to help guide its growing understanding of the value of heritage of all kinds; not just the built environment and history but cultural and environmental heritage.

“Once our framework is published for all to see, we aim to work with the many organisations that have contributed it, to develop an action plan to put it into effect.

“Many towns and cities have heritage strategies but they tend to have a narrow focus.

“Sheffield’s is the first to be rooted in the local community, which will have created it. The work has brought together many people who are passionate about Sheffield’s heritage and want to work together to spread understanding of its value. This will be an enormous strength.”

Booking is through Eventbrite: for 13 October and for 14 October.

There is a small fee for attendance but some places are available free for unwaged people.