A new life for old phone exchange

Steel City House is a Grade II-listed former telephone exchange and Post Office building on West Street
Steel City House is a Grade II-listed former telephone exchange and Post Office building on West Street

The developer of a state-of-the-art office complex in one of Sheffield’s most historic buildings hopes to kickstart the city’s commercial appeal.

Steel City House is a Grade II-listed former telephone exchange and Post Office building on West Street.

Nearly 100 years old, the regenerated building is set to open next year and will offer premier office space for 600 people.

Developer John Scotting, managing director of owners Scott’s developments, said he hoped the scheme would spark renewed interest in the city’s offices, which in recent years has proved a barrier to businesses operating and expanding into the city.

He said: “One of the reasons big companies do not come to Sheffield is that the buildings haven’t been at the right level. There has been a bit recently with St Paul’s and the Electric Works and obviously since 2008 there has not been a huge amount of investment. There’s been a lot of development in Sheffield that is residential and we could have gone residential with this.

“We decided we wanted to do something that would helped to make Sheffield attractive. If we get someone who transfers from another office then it begins to get the whole thing moving.”

The building dates from 1927 and is reminiscent of the famous Flat Iron building in New York. It had remained empty for a few years before Scott’s Developments bought it for £3.5m last year. Its central location by a tram stop on West Street will make it accessible for workers.