Sheffield residents are urged to get behind this brand new £480m masterplan to transform our city centre.
After several false starts over the years, city bosses are optimistic this will be the development to make Sheffield’s ailing centre fit for purpose.
The Sheffield Retail Quarter is set to bring the city centre from 43rd to 32nd place in UK retail rankings – boosting it from its current position alongside the likes of Northampton and Stoke on Trent.
Richard Wright, executive director of the Sheffield Chamber, said: “We should get behind the development.”
“There’s a need to get on with this and I would be really disappointed if this was another false start. I don’t think it is – I’m really hopeful.”
The scheme comprises 900,000 square feet of mixed use accommodation and is predominantly retail and leisure led – but also includes more than 200,000 square feet of residential and office space.
Contemporary fashion stores will be situated along Cross Burgess Street and Pinstone Street. Prime fashion outlets will set the tone and style of the whole city centre, alongside an anchor department store.
The council aims for 80 per cent of the scheme to be completed by 2019, with the final phases completed by 2021.
Council executive director for place Simon Green said: “These new plans provide an attractive new shopping district for Sheffield city centre.
“The design merges with Sheffield’s award-winning public spaces and world renowned cultural assets – including City Hall, The Crucible and The Lyceum theatres – and links key retail pitches in the city centre from The Moor through to Fargate.
“This will complement the new shopping facilities and provide food and drink, office and residential space to extend the city centre’s attraction as an evening entertainment option.”
Mr Wright said it is vital the development attracts big spenders.
“I think it’s well-known that we lose a lot of potential shoppers and customers from the west of the city as they tend to go to places like Manchester,” he said.
“I would love to see a really outstanding and exciting development that brings people into it, not just to shop but to do other things as well. We have lots going for us but at the end of the day this is a business proposition - it’s no good attracting people who aren’t going to spend money.
“We are under time pressure here. I think this is holding back the development of the rest of the city and city region. I would say let’s get on with it.”
The council is in talks with potential strategic development partners and hopes to announce a partner this autumn. The scheme will be funded through the partnership along with cash generated from the New Deal with Government.