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A Magazine for Sheffield

Sheffield's "first ever" heritage strategy launched

A community-led plan to protect the city's diverse heritage has been hailed as a "national first".

Coroners court

The Old Coroner's Court on Nursery Street, which is due to be demolished by a property developer.

A new plan has been published that aims to protect Sheffield's heritage over the next decade through conservation, education and conservation.

The Sheffield Strategy is the first heritage plan in the UK to be created by a local community rather than a council, with its authors calling it "a hugely important step" for the city.

Published by Joined Up Heritage Sheffield (JUHS), the plan seeks to preserve both the city's industrial heritage and its modernist legacy from the post-war period.

"Many people think of heritage as being about historic buildings," said JUHS chair Valerie Bayliss.

"Heritage is indeed about the built environment, but it’s also about so much more than that: places as well as buildings, collections and records, customs and traditions, memories, stories and languages. We’ve neglected a lot of this for far too long."

The report has attracted cross-party support from councillors in Sheffield, with Council Leader Bob Johnson calling it "an important foundation for collaboration and joint work in the future."

Green councillor Douglas Johnson said that the city needs a "coherent heritage strategy" and called on the Council to adopt the plan as formal policy.

The strategy, which was developed in partnership with both of the city's universities, was the result of workshops, reviews and consultations with communities across Sheffield.

"People were buzzing with ideas and debated them seriously, resolved differences of view and came up with something really special," said JUHS trustee Robin Hughes.

The strategy's Action Plan includes the formation of a new permanent Heritage Forum, where citizens could participate in decisions around the future of the city's past.

"The aim is that within the decade, Sheffield will understand and celebrate its heritage better, will champion its diverse heritage, will make better use of the economic potential of heritage, support its education value; and recognise its social, wellbeing and environmental benefits," said Hughes.

by Sam Gregory (he/him)
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