Tesco to bank on rise of city centre supermarkets

The former HSBC bank in Church Street, Sheffield.
The former HSBC bank in Church Street, Sheffield.

Part of an old bank in Sheffield city centre is set to be converted into a Tesco Express store.

A section of the former HSBC bank in Church Street - a listed building opposite the Anglican Cathedral - is due to open as supermarket in early December.

It will increase the competition in the city centre among the supermarket giants.

Sainsbury’s, which already has shops in Arundel Gate and Division Street, is preparing to open one of its ‘Local’ outlets just along High Street in the premises formerly occupied by outdoor clothing and equipment specialists Blacks.

Church Assets Ltd were granted permission last April to divide the old HSBC bank into two separate units after councillors were assured that key elements, including the ornate banking hall, dome and spiral staircase, would be protected.

Built in 1838, the premises have been empty for five years, and the council was told that they were now “very dilapidated”. Approved new uses included a supermarket, commercial premises and a restaurant.

Now further details of the supermarket operation, such as external lighting and refuse collection, have been approved by the council, and Tesco is preparing to become a neighbour of the Cutlers Hall.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We’re pleased to be opening a new store in this fantastic building in Sheffield, and we’ve worked hard to make sure we respect the heritage of the site. We’ll be employing around 20 people and hope to be open in early December.”

Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s is preparing to move into the former Blacks store. It already operates 13 stores in Sheffield, with ten from its ‘Local’ chain within three miles of the city centre.