Fargate will be a “force to be reckoned with” says Labour
Fargate will be a ‘force to be reckoned with’ with café terraces, outlet shops and independent Sheffield businesses, say Labour councillors.
Labour says footfall across the city centre is currently up more than 10 per cent compared to last year and a host of new developments and city centre festivals are boosting town.
But the Lib Dems are concerned investment is ‘overly focused’ on the city centre and not enough is being done to support district shopping areas.
The Greens have also criticised Labour for not supporting businesses on Chapel Walk who have been blighted by scaffolding for the past two years.
Coun Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment, said: “The council is committed to securing the immediate growth and improvement of the city’s high streets and is bidding for significant investment for Fargate and Castlegate, as well as for the main high streets of Stocksbridge and Attercliffe.
“It’s our priority to support district centres and every effort will be made to use planning and licensing to repurpose sites so they can be reborn.
“We are working with landlords, agents and Sheffield BID, to make Fargate a force to be reckoned with again and seeking to unlock the area’s potential for café terraces, high-end outlets and independent Sheffield businesses.”
Coun Iqbal pointed to the redevelopment of Castle House, the former NUM headquarters, the former Grosvenor Hotel site for HSBC and the New Era Square along with events such as DocFest, Sheffield by the Seaside and improved Christmas lights.
He added: “For every job created by larger companies, the supply chain is positively affected and that Sheffield’s smaller businesses are benefiting from the economic activity generated.”
The Lib Dems said they would like to see a review of local shopping areas.
Coun Martin Smith said: “We are concerned that current council-led investment is overly focused on the city centre and not enough is being done to support the local business economy across all parts of Sheffield.
“This is another example of this council not listening to local communities and ignoring their pleas for investment in district shopping centres and local high streets.”
The Greens said independent and small and medium businesses were central to the local economy and should be supported.
Coun Paul Turpin said: “We are disappointed with Labour’s treatment of businesses on Chapel Walk, where several businesses have closed since a large property developer’s scaffolding was approved to be erected in 2017.
“Under proper management, Chapel Walk could be a proud beacon of local and independent businesses down one of Sheffield’s most historic walks.”