Fantastic news that the University Arms pub on Western Bank has been declared an Asset of Community Value which gives it a reprieve (possibly temporary) from demolition.
This pub, and the delightful Victorian backwater to the rear, were all set to go and be replaced by a Mk II Arts Tower in Sheffield University’s grandiose plans. Nothing can save the backwater, but at least the pub has now got half a chance. The building started life as the vicarage to the nearby Grade II listed St. George’s Church which we all know has been dwarfed and blanked off by the atrocious Diamond Building. Previously known as Club 197, the pub was reincarnated as The University Arms and is much loved and well used.
Sheffield University must be scratching their head, as rumour has it that they purchased the Henderson’s Relish building on Leavygreave for a pub conversion as a sop for the loss of the old Vicarage. They also knew that the Star and Garter is set to go, so the purchase of Hendos somehow mollified things for them. Thankfully the ugly shed on the side has been removed, but work now seems to have stopped completely. I would imagine the main problem will be shoring the whole thing up as it currently looks like the House that Jack Built and obviously has severe structural problems. I’ve also heard from a good source that some nasty unidentified spores have been discovered in the cellars. Quatermass springs to mind.
Conversion of the old relish factory to a watering hole will be a seriously expensive project and it wouldn’t surprise me if there was a re-think now that the old vicarage has had a stay of execution. I do hope that the aforementioned spores aren’t used as an excuse by Sheffield University’s demolition hit squad. We all know what happened to the Grade II listed Edwardian Wing at the old Jessop Hospital don’t we.
Two University owned pubs within 100 yards of each other is a bit much even allowing for students’ legendary thirsts!