Hours cut for Sheffield Winter Garden

Hours cut: Sheffield's Winter Garden. Photo: Ann Watt.
Hours cut: Sheffield's Winter Garden. Photo: Ann Watt.

EVENING opening hours at Sheffield’s Winter Garden are to be cut - but this time the change is not to save money.

Sheffield Council said too few people are walking through the building to justify stationing security staff there late at night.

From Monday, the opening times will be reduced to 8am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 8am to 6pm on Sundays. The garden has been open until 11pm on weekdays.

Coun Helen Mirfin-Boukouris, Sheffield Council cabinet member for business, jobs and growth, said: “We cannot justify having staff in the Winter Garden when it is not used and we’ve looked carefully at how it has been used.

“We’ve got to look carefully at every penny and this seems a sensible way forward.”

The security guard stationed at the Winter Garden will instead patrol the Peace Gardens.

Coun Mirfin-Boukouris said: “For the last 10 years there has been a security officer in the Peace Gardens covering the times when the Ambassadors finish, however through the last set of budget reductions this part of the service was stopped.

“This means that at present there is no security presence in the Peace Gardens after 7.30pm. We’ve undertaken a review of footfall and opening hours and feedback from the public and as a result this service will be re-implemented.

“This means that from August 29 there will be a security presence in the Peace Gardens until midnight each night, ensuring that the Peace Gardens stays a safe and welcoming space.

“The cost of re-introducing this service will partly be covered by the earlier closure of the Winter Garden.”

The Winter Garden has been open late for the last two years and it remains popular with visitors, attracting more than two million people last year.

But the council said the garden is seldom used in the late evening except as a through route from Surrey Street to Millennium Square.

Sheffield Council said the change to the Winter Garden hours will not save money and the change will cost ‘several thousands pounds’ more to implement.