By Samuel Newton
A long-awaited city centre regeneration scheme looks set to finally come into fruition after Sheffield City Council announced that it is committed to moving plans forward.
The New Retail Quarter scheme, previously marketed as Sevenstones, was shelved last year after a partnership between the project’s contractors Hammerson and Sheffield City Council fell through.
The project has now re-surfaced and will see the property between the Devonshire Quarter and The Moor developed into high-class retail spaces.
The options for structuring the property deal are being finalised and will be presented to Cabinet for approval. The Council will then consider whether to find a forward sale with interim funding or fund the scheme directly themselves.
Talks are currently being held with affected property owners in the area, who are hoping to be able to continue trading in their properties, until building developments are due to commence.
The Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development, Leigh Bramall said: “We are fully committed to moving the development of the New Retail Quarter forward urgently now and this decision to secure the ownership of the properties needed for the development is key to making things happen”.
Drawing on the necessity to keep the area attractive to shoppers until the development gets underway, Mr. Bramall continued: “We are also conscious that the existing businesses should be able to continue their trade in their current premises whenever possible to ensure the area remains attractive to shoppers during this crucial period of transition”.
The Quarter is set to be a crucial element for the regeneration of the city centre as it sits alongside other developments including new improvements to The Moor which have already seen success as the Heart of the City scheme looks to shift up a gear. It is expected that the scheme will provide around 2,500 new jobs.
Councillor Ben Curran, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources said: “Once completed, the New Retail Quarter will help to improve the status of the City and will help to stimulate further office, commercial and leisure opportunities in Sheffield City centre. This development will bring significant external investment into the city as well as giving a massive boost to the city centre’s retail offer”