£50 million to complete makeover of city centre

Transformation: Nick Clegg visits city to make announcement.

Transformation: Nick Clegg visits city to make announcement.

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DERELICT sites around Sheffield’s city centre are set to be transformed with an extra development fund of £50 million of new money.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced the cash in addition to Sheffield’s City Deal which involves £500m for transport and infrastructure projects plus £72m towards creating apprenticeships and providing extra training for people in work.

One of the main projects likely to be funded with the £50m is the transformation of the current Castlegate area, once the markets are moved to their new home on The Moor.

Plans for the area involve exposing the ruins of the castle in a new public park.

New offices and apartments are also proposed.

Mr Clegg confirmed Sheffield Council will be one of just three authorities in the country to be able to borrow against future tax receipts to fund such work.

Sheffield Hallam MP Mr Clegg said: “The funding will allow a complete transformation. The fact we are able to put up this money shows how committed the coalition is to completing the transformation of Sheffield city centre.”

Sheffield Council Labour leader, Coun Julie Dore said: “After the City Deal announcement, this really is the icing on the cake for Sheffield and guarantees we can deliver our city centre masterplan.”

Council chief executive, John Mothersole, said that, alongside Sheffield, only Newcastle and Nottingham have been granted permission to borrow the money.

He said: “This way of funding is the first of its kind in the UK. It will be a major cash injection for the city centre.”

As well as Castlegate and the old markets site, Mr Mothersole said other areas which could benefit include the Sevenstone new retail quarter scheme. Sites where development has stalled, such as spots near the railway station, could also be helped with the funding.