We Have Lift Off…

Posted on September 26, 2012 by


Broken Windows… breathing life back into a building that was built for Heeley’s Future.

Well, we’ve been here before, writing an update about how soon work will start on the derelict Anns Grove Building.
So, what is different this time? At last, after 8 years of work, we are writing, not to say when the project will start but that it has started. We are working with Sheffield Architect Simon Gedye and his team and builders; George Hurst and Sons to breathe life back into this beautiful Victorian Building.

The Story So Far…

Having put up the site signs, boundaries and security in June, the work of clearing and making safe began in earnest. In that first month, just to get to a point where we could see past the wreckage and assess the building properly, 2 skips a day left the site. Once cleared and safe we had our first proper look at the scale of the task, had we raised enough money? Was the building still sound? What were the nasty surprises going to be? We spent July waiting for bad news, it never came. We have had some problems, more dry rot than expected, less plaster stayed on the walls than anticipated but our engineer’s assessments were bang on – the Victorians knew how to build a school!

With scaffolding in place, re-roofing is well underway. The building is drying out and we get more excited every time we go on site to see the beauty and craftsmanship in every detail that is uncovered and restored.

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Over the coming months we will post images and news on our website: http://annsgrovecommunityhub.wordpress.com/ this site hasn’t changed much recently; we will try to sort it out over the next few weeks and keep the pictures and news coming after that.

Important stuff we need to say:

–        We aren’t using lead to fix our roof – lightweight and low (scrap) value Zinc is replacing ALL the lead

–        The site is not a safe place to play or visit without permission. The Security system is working, when unauthorised entry is detected a security guard is despatched to the site – they always respond!

–        We have had so much enthusiasm and support from local people – Thank you everyone. Please keep it coming – without your support we couldn’t have raised the funds – and we still have more to raise!

What’s next…

The next phase will restore and replace windows and make the building secure and weatherproof, then internal fit out begins – lift, staircases and partition walls.

Now that we know the building inside out we can see the craftsmanship and care that went into building a community resource for the following century, this fantastic building could not be replaced. With this investment we have saved it – now we aim to make sure this is a community resource for another 100 years! 

Spencer building is going to provide office and studio space in the heart of our community. We want local businesses to fill those spaces, if you haven’t already been in touch – and a lot of you have, then call us or log into the website. We will be able to organise tours and show plans and images later this year, this is going to be a very special place to work.