Leah's Yard: Grade II-listed 'Little Mesters' cutlery workshop in Sheffield to be restored as boutique shopping courtyard
Leah’s Yard in the city centre was built in the early 19th century and was home to 18 of the master cutlers and silversmiths that Sheffield became globally famous for.
It is being developed as part of the Heart of the City masterplan, with the workshops to become retail units surrounding the original cobbled courtyard. Twenty studio spaces will also be opened on the first and second floors.
One of the contractors is local firm RF Joinery, who have also worked on projects at Kelham Island Industrial Museum.
Director Paul Roberts said: “As a local contractor, the Leah’s Yard project has had a huge impact on our business.
“We’ve delivered specialist public sector projects in the past such as re-roofing work at Kelham Island Museum over the working steam engine. We’ve got a love for interesting projects and our unique expertise helped us win a very competitive contract process.
“We have built up a team of multi-skilled people who are all so passionate about the project. Heart of the City has been a game changer for us and taken us to a new level. We are thankful to Sheffield City Council for giving us the opportunity.”
Leah’s Yard will also have a modern extension to provide disabled access and toilet facilities.
Walkley-based Masterfit have installed 100 different types of heritage windows and the roofs had to incorporate the original trusses of the Grade II-listed building.
The cobbles in the courtyard had to be removed one by one and relaid while the ground was raised to provide level access.
Once completed in the first half of 2024, the venue will be run by Tom Wolfenden, who manages the Cooper Buildings on Arundel Street, and James O’Hara, who runs acclaimed bars such as Public and Picture House Social.
The duo plan to breathe new life into the site by transforming it into an experience-led destination for local independent retailers and businesses, creative workshops and social events.
The site was derelict for around 20 years.