She took a tour of the grade Two-listed Joel’s Yard in Sheffield to see the completion of a year-long repair and refurbishment project, which saw developer Anthony Sanella turn the former workshops into flats.
After her visit yesterday Baroness Andrews said: “It’s so important to restore these fragile parts of Sheffield that tell us so much about the city’s industrial history.
“So much invention and innovation came from these small yards and it was what happened in places like Joel’s Yard that put Sheffield on the world stage.
“Now these places are benefitting from a different kind of innovation, using historic buildings to provide affordable housing, and once again are contributing to Sheffield’s future.”
The repairs to Joel’s Yard, which was officially designated a “building at risk”, included reinstating a cobbled courtyard so that the workshops look more like the original. English Heritage gave a grant of nearly £200,000 towards overall repairs.
Mr Sanella is now set to start his next big repair project next door to Joel’s Yard at North Yard, also a former cutlery works.
The “near-ruinous” group of buildings includes a crucible shop, forge and cutler’s smithy. English Heritage has offered a grant of £300,000 towards this new project, which will include nine new homes.
A spokesman said that, when completed, these two projects will make a “marked improvement” to the condition of the Well Meadow Street Conservation Area, which is included in English Heritage’s heritage at risk register.
As well as visiting Joel’s Yard and North Yard in Well Meadow Street, Baroness Andrews also saw other regeneration projects in Sheffield yesterday, including Park Hill and Manor Lodge, which received financial assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund.