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John Lewis building now Grade II listed

A bird's eye view of the former John Lewis building in Barker's Pool

Yesterday Historic England listed the former John Lewis building, in Barker’s Pool, at Grade II on the National Heritage List for England.

The decision comes after the Council applied for a Certificate of Immunity of Listing for building.

Cllr Mazher Iqbal, Co-Chair of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee, has since issued a statement: “The decision to list the former John Lewis building demonstrates the importance of the post-war heritage of Sheffield and recognises the significance of the Cole Brothers store and the work of the City Council in rebuilding Sheffield following the bombing of the city in the 1940s.

“Our purpose in applying for a Certificate of Immunity from Listing was not because we wanted to see it demolished, but to remove uncertainty over whether it might be spot listed at a later date. This now gives us a clear position with which we can move forward, and we welcome that.

“The building has deep emotional and social value to the many people who shopped or worked there over the years. Whilst there may be some conflicting opinions over its appearance and size, it is very positive that Historic England recognise its architectural merit and historic importance in the evolution of Twentieth Century department store design. It is another symbol of the progressive, forward-looking approach to development for which Sheffield is rightly renowned.

“There are already examples of new life being breathed into fantastic listed Twentieth Century buildings in Sheffield such as Park Hill and Kollider in the former Co-op department store at Castlegate.

“We have received a range of submissions of interest in Stage 1 of public consultation, with several parties wanting to retain and reimagine the building for new uses, and others showing a preference for demolition. A department store of this scale is unlikely in the current or future retail environment but we’re really excited to now work with bidders to find a way to repurpose the building in a way that will re-establish the property in its rightful place as a key attraction in the new city centre that is emerging around it.”

For info

  • Listing marks a building’s significance and celebrates its special architectural and historic interest. It brings specific protection so that its special interest can be properly considered in managing its future. Listing does not mean that no alterations can be made - in the vast majority of cases applications to make changes to a listed building are approved.
  • Sheffield City Council acquired the lease from John Lewis in January 2022.