New gameplan on way for Pinball Square


It was designed to complement the neighbouring National Centre for Popular Music in Sheffield city centre.

But the small square failed to capture the public’s imagination, just like the short-lived visitor attraction.

Now Pinball Square - a reference to how it was shaped - is in line for a revamp, to create more of an attractive and welcoming green space as part of the Cultural Industries’ Quarter.

Part of the area will retain a hard surface for events, and so Sheffield Hallam University’s HUBs building, the students’ union that succeeded the NCPM, and venues such as the Showroom and Workstation can have tables and chairs there.

But other sections will have a lawn and trees. There will also be new lighting and seats. One of the aims is to have “a flexible outdoor space for performances and events”.

The square, off Paternoster Row, and with Spearmint Rhino gentlemen’s club now along one side, was created as a breakout space for visitors to the NCPM, which opened in March 1999 and closed in June 2000.

Now largely windswept and unused, it was designed by the same architects as for the landmark ‘drums’.

Hallam University is financing the project, working with the council.

Mark Swales, director of estates and facilities at Hallam University, said: “We are working in partnership with the city council to continue the work we have done on improving the public realm. We have been liaising with stakeholders in the Cultural Industries’ Quarter to get their input on the design of the public space.”