Friends of Hillsborough Park receive AHF support for community cafe and dementia centre

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The Architectural Heritage Fund is pleased to support Age UK Sheffield, in partnership with the Friends of Hillsborough Park, as they work with the local community to develop their plans for a community café and dementia centre in the Old Coach House, Hillsborough Park, Sheffield.

This grade II coach house and stable block was built to service Hillsborough Hall, a small country house back when it was constructed in 1779. The area is now part of the city of Sheffield and a public park. Hillsborough House is now used as a public library, but the coach house and stables are boarded up and have fallen into disrepair.

Age UK Sheffield support older people, and in particular in this location they want to help people living with dementia, but they are keen to provide benefits for as wide a group of people as possible. The plan includes a community café to be used by other people in the park, families, dog walkers and people using the park for sport. The Project Viability Grant will allow the organisation to fine-tune their plans and create a robust business plan to give Sheffield City Council assurances ahead of an asset transfer, and to ensure the building can be a commercial success once refurnished.

Steve Chu, Chief Executive of Age UK Sheffield said:

“We are really excited by the prospect of being able to develop The Old Coach House in Hillsborough Park. The building has so much potential, for ourselves, the older people we serve, and the entire local community. The Viability Appraisal is important for us to take this project on to the next stage and we are extremely grateful to the Architectural Heritage Fund for their grant to support this.”

 Matthew McKeague, Chief Executive of the Architectural Heritage Fund said:

“This has the potential to give a new lease of life to the Old Coach House, and to demonstrate the benefits of asset transfer by a local authority to a community organisation. It’s also great to see Age UK Sheffield exploring options for wider uses by the local community, as well as older people they support."

Editors’ Notes

The Architectural Heritage Fund is a registered charity, working since 1976, to promote the conservation and sustainable reuse of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK, particularly in areas of deprivation.  It is the leading social investor and the only specialist heritage lender operating in the UK.

For further information contact: Karen Houghton-Slater, Support Officer (Yorkshire & Humber): 0300 121 0731