£20m loans fund for Sheffield developments

Derelict: St Paul's Place, main picture, old NUM building, top, and former Post Office building.                           PICTURES: STUART HASTINGS
Derelict: St Paul's Place, main picture, old NUM building, top, and former Post Office building. PICTURES: STUART HASTINGS

SHEFFIELD has been granted £20 million of Government and European Union cash to help stalled developments and transform ‘eyesore’ derelict land.

The cash is being used by the city council to create a JESSICA fund, which will provide loans to companies struggling to finance schemes through the banks.

“It aims to turn eyesores into buildings and create jobs,” said Sheffield Council chief executive John Mothersole.

The Star understands that officials are already understood to be considering lending money to a developer so a third office block at the St Paul’s development in the city centre can be built.

Currently, the site, opposite Howden House council offices at the corner of Norfolk Street and Charles Street, is vacant.

The city centre has a host of further schemes where development has not yet gone ahead including plans for a casino at the former NUM building, in Barker’s Pool, the old Post Office building on Fitzalan Square, the second planned Digital Campus building on Sheaf Street, and two empty sites outside Midland Station in Sheaf Square.

Sheffield Council leader Coun Julie Dore said: “As a local authority, we are there not only to provide services but to help the growth of the city.

“This project is showing we are a visionary council.

“As well as helping developers who come to us, we are also looking into being proactive and approaching firms ourselves.”

Mr Mothersole added: “We are determined to continue to develop the city.”

Sheffield is only the fourth UK area to establish a JESSICA fund, the others being London, Manchester and the East Midlands.

Once loans are repaid, the money can be re-used to help other schemes.