Harmony Works Vision Gains Momentum with £1.6 million Canada House Purchase

Harmony Works Trust is celebrating a key project milestone following its recent purchase of the 35,000 sq.ft Grade II* Listed Canada House in Sheffield City Centre.

The £14m Harmony Works project will restore and revitalise Canada House, one of Sheffield’s grandest buildings. The building will be transformed into a new, central music education hub for young musicians from across the city and region.

Harmony Works will be home to every genre of music and music-inspired culture offering spaces for teaching, practising, rehearsing and performing.

The Trust, which was awarded charitable status in August 2023, has bought Canada House from retail brand Panache for £1.6 million. The Harmony Works project and Canada House refurbishment is backed by multiple funding initiatives, including Government Levelling Up Funds secured by Sheffield City Council to support the regeneration of Castlegate.

Canada House’s city-centre location means it can be reached by public transport from all parts of South Yorkshire ensuring that the very best music education is accessible for all.

Founded by Sheffield Music Hub, Sheffield Music Academy, Brass Bands England, and Music in the Round, the powerhouse project is also backed by Sheffield City Council, major public funders, the Sheffield Culture Collective, and the universities.

Commenting on the project’s progress, David Hobson, Chair of Harmony Works Trust, said: “Our goal is to foster growth and transformation through the power of music. We are incredibly excited to announce that Canada House is officially ours. This is a huge milestone moment for our project.

“We, alongside all our partners, collaborators and funders, have worked incredibly hard to get this far, and we want to say a massive thank you to them for all their help and support to date.”

Harmony Works is committed to creating an inclusive music education space that inspires musical exploration, expands horizons, improves wellbeing, and champions Sheffield’s architectural heritage.

Emily Pieters, Harmony Works’ Project Director, added: “While we’re one step nearer to achieving our long-term goals of creating a more accessible and inclusive musical pathway for the young people and their communities across the Sheffield region, our work here is just beginning.

“With significant support from the public sector secured, we now need the help of our private sector to get this project over the finish line.”

Councillor Martin Smith, Chair of the Economic Skills and Development Committee at Sheffield City Council, said: “As well as creating an educational and inspirational space in Sheffield, the Harmony Works project will be a major catalyst for change in our city, particularly the Castlegate area.

“It will also help to preserve one of our city’s finest historic buildings and bring forward a plan to transform music provision in the region.”

 

An Italianate Renaissance-style building, Canada House was built in 1875 for the Sheffield United Gas Company. Over the past few decades, the building has taken many guises, from nightclubs to restaurants, and has more recently been home to specialist lingerie brand Panache.

John Power, Managing Director at Panache, said: “Canada House was our home for many years and holds a very fond place in our hearts.

“We’re delighted that this special building will be home to facilitating such an amazing project – helping our region’s young people to explore their musical potential.”

The funding support to date has been provided by the Architectural Heritage Fund, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Sheffield City Council, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, The UK Government, and local Trusts and Foundations.

International law firm CMS LLP has also provided pro-bono legal support for the project since 2018.

Harmony Works Trust is now applying for additional funding support from Arts Council England and Trusts and Foundations for its next phase of the project.

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