The Baroque revival-style old Sheffield Savings Bank on Chesterfield Road, opened in March as Heeley Bank Antiques Centre.
Paul Blythen from Handsworth, whose family are from Prospect Road, struggled to buy the bank in December and with a recession it wasn’t easy:
“The banks weren’t interested, so I pushed the boat out and financed it myself and here we are. “
Built in 1900, the 2-storey, grade II listed building boasts details such as a rounded corner entrance, a clock, ‘Sheffield Savings Bank’ and ‘Heeley Branch’ inscribed on the frieze.The interior has dado and wall tiling to three quarter height in moulded glazed tiles with floral designs in green and yellow. Victorian mahogany counters with Classical detailing, found in the loft, are being reused in order to keep as many authentic features as possible.The original vault with plates made in 1857 will be used as cabinet space for gold, silver and precious items.
25 antique dealers will rent out units or cabinet space. Paul also has his own business ‘Fresh Look’, shabby chic furniture, which will have space at the back of the building.
Hendrika Stephens, manager of The Corner Gallery is working on a unified marketing strategy with the Council and Welcome to Sheffield. She hopes to link the 15 or so different antique centres within a mile radius from Hagglers Corner on Queen’s Road, along Broadfield Road up to the crossroads with Abbeydale Road where The Vault is a new centre and back down to antique shops on Abbeydale Road. Signage and maps for the Sheffield Antiques Quarter would raise the profile of the area and would help the hundreds of businesses to support each other. As Paul says: “It’s all coming together!”
Heeley Bank Antiques Centre, Queens Road
For a comprehensive list of the Antique Quarter: http://sheffieldantiquesemporium.webs.com/