New Student Scheme in York Working Men’s Club

The former St Lawrence Working Men’s Club and adjoining Tam O’ Shanter public house have been sold to S Harrison Developments by the Moore family who were represented throughout by Howard Jenkins.

The Working Men’s Club occupied an important Listed Building which was originally the home of the Tukes, a well-known and influential family in York; Samuel Tuke was a 19th Century mental health pioneer who founded The Retreat and it was his home from 1822 until his death in 1857; the artist Henry Scott Tuke was born there.

However, much of the accommodation had been empty for many years and, having fallen into significant disrepair, the property had become an eyesore which the Club simply did not have the resources to remedy. As an important Listed Building, many developers had looked at the site but were unable to find a viable future for it.

Joe Moore representing his family’s interests as active investors in York, enabled the Working Men’s Club to vacate their dilapidated premises by way of a property swap; he acquired and demolished the building next door, obtaining planning permission and constructing for the Club a new purpose-built facility; upon completion, ownership of the properties were exchanged. The Moore family also acquired, and continued to operate, the Tam O’ Shanter public house.

Successful negotiations with S Harrison Developments represented the final phase in securing a long-term and viable future for this local landmark.

Joe Moore commented that: “Having received a number of unsuccessful approaches, great praise should be given to Martyn Harrison and his team for conceiving such an attractive and sympathetic scheme which will bring this important Listed Building back to life. It is unfortunate that the Tam O’ Shanter had to close, but this building will also be preserved, and it was the only way that development of the overall site could be made viable. I am delighted that the City of York Council Planning & Conservation Officers and English Heritage supported our aspirations for this property, without which it would have remained vacant and continue to deteriorate for many years to come”.

Harrison now plans to invest £11.5million over the next 18 months to create high quality accommodation for 115 students using a blend of one, two, three and five bed en-suite apartments and clusters, together with games room, gym, cinema, common room, study space & administrative offices; once completed, it will be owned and managed by Empiric, one of the UK’s leading student accommodation specialists.