Sheffield’s New Retail Quarter could be open for shoppers by 2019 - and put £30 million per year back into council coffers.
Plans for a multi-million pound shopping development in the city centre have been on hold for years since the previous £400m Sevenstone scheme broke down.
But Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for business, Leigh Bramall, said the authority wants to open the new development within five years, to create a ‘vibrant and attractive’ city centre.
He added the reason the previous scheme broke down was because the developers wanted to put the project on hold.
Coun Bramall told a meeting of the Sheffield City Centre Residents’ Action Group: “We separated from Hammerson because they weren’t willing to do it in the timescales we required, because they said they have other schemes on the go and they wanted to basically sign an agreement that we would put it on hold until they were ready to commit, and we didn’t think that was practical.”
He said the council has received extra Government cash to deliver the project, adding: “It’s a very good time to do a scheme like this.
“The key point is the council is going to be a direct partner in the programme. That helps de-risk the project for private investors, and gives us greater control over the scheme so we can have more say.
“We also anticipate that, depending on the final stake we have in the scheme, this could make in the region of £30m per annum in terms of profit. There’s potential for that to come to the council and we can reinvest that money in other projects in the city centre and other services.
“We anticipate the demolitions would start, all being well, next year and we can start construction in 2016, so we’re probably talking 2019 as the time that it would open up.
“Obviously that can’t come fast enough in my opinion because that’s important in creating a city centre that’s economically attractive and active and vibrant in terms of attracting other investments to the city.”