When HHB learned just before Christmas of the decision to demolish the historic Market Tavern, we immediately appealed to Sheffield City Council to look for another way. We managed to persuade them to halt works whilst outside help was found.
National heritage organisation SAVE Britain’s Heritage offered, within 24hrs, to bring in a conservation accredited engineer to offer a second opinion on the structural condition of the building and whether it could be made safe. Sheffield City Council accepted this offer, and say that demolition remained on hold.
However the Council now says that, in the few hours after that offer was received and accepted, the whole upper storey and roof structure of the building fell down by itself, very neatly, with all the rubble falling back into the building. When the offer was received the frontage and gable ends were in visibly good condition.
A visual inspection of the building on Thursday 11th January by an engineer engaged by SAVE raised questions about why measures to help secure the building and protect it from damage hadn’t been taken when concerns were first raised and the roof removed in late 2023. The lack of action to protect the structure doesn’t match up with the Council’s previous public commitment to refurbishing the Market Tavern.
This was a building of obvious good quality, yet since the Council took ownership in 2006 its story has been one of neglect and decline. It is tragic, especially when the Council has adopted a Heritage Strategy and says it has a new commitment to heritage, that such a shambles could occur in the name of ‘regeneration’.