The keys to unlocking Sheffield’s future – Opening gates of Moorfoot Building could lead to multi-million pound transformation of city centre

Campaigners believe opening up the gates underneath a key Sheffield building could breathe new life into the city centre by paving the way to a multi-million pound transformation.

Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 13:23 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 13:27 pm

Moderators of the Sheffield Labour Party Planning Policy Forum have renewed their calls to reopen the gates under the Moorfoot Building to allow greater access between The Moor and London Road.

Their ambitious multi-million pound proposals could also see an overpass built over St Mary’s Gate and pedestrianised squares and a new community square just outside the building.

The Moorfoot Building. Picture: Sam Cooper / The Star

The pyramid building is currently occupied by Sheffield Council staff but the gates remain closed despite previous calls to open them up.

Geoff Green, of the forum, said: “The rationale is to increase footfall and bring vibrancy and diversity to the bottom of The Moor and open up London Road to the city centre more – I think it's a win, win.

“Around 18 months ago we had a big meeting of all the stakeholders – the council; Aberdeen Standard Investments, the owners of The Moor and it’s really frustrating that it's not happened."

What St Mary's Gate could look like behind the Moorfoot Building.

Mr Green said the group had commissioned work by the University of Sheffield architectural students, which showed there was ‘big support’ from the business community, residents, shoppers, councillors and both universities.

The research showed the group were first calling for the existing gates to be opened up and improved and then two possible options of either widended the existing underpass or removing it and realigning London Road.

The first option would cost around £24 million, while the creation of a new ‘cultural gateway’ would be around £117 million.

An area could be opened up near the Moorfoot Building.

Mr Green said: “The gates serve no useful purpose at all – you can enter by going behind the gates.

“It would increase footfall on the Moor by opening it up to the vibrant communities on London Road, and make for a more humane city. “

Removal of the underpass would also see a public square for civic and cultural events and changes to the London Road junction to improve traffic flow.

How St Mary's Gate could look.
The Moorfoot Building. Picture: Sam Cooper / The Star