Stop shoppers leaving region, say business leaders

Business leaders in Sheffield backed the council’s pulling out of the Sevenstone deal - but spelled out the urgency of coming up with an alternative to stop local shoppers going elsewhere.

Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: “Clearly something needed to change in order for it to progress, so we support this.

“There remains a significant and urgent need to get on with the project to prevent further leakage of shoppers to outside of the city region.

“Plans for Sevenstone were initially created in 2005 and there have been many changes on the high street since then.

“This decision will now allow the city council and partners to revaluate what is needed to ensure Sheffield jumps ahead and stays in front of the competition from other cities, such as Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham and Liverpool.”

“We have been very clear that the development needs to be something distinctive and right for our city and one which complements the offer at Meadowhall.

“It must be bespoke, represent quality, provide a special environment for people to visit and reflect the future world of retailing in a digital age.”

Sheffield Green Party chair Jon Ashe urged the council “not to waste time and money on another grandiose scheme based on chain stores”, but to change tack and support local and independent businesses to create a city centre with a wider range of leisure activities.