9 June 2014
MAJOR BOOST FOR SHEFFIELD’S NEW RETAIL QUARTER
A significant decision to take Sheffield’s New Retail Quarter forward to become a reality has been taken this week.
The Council is committed to moving the New Retail Quarter scheme forward and has set out an ambitious programme that targets completion in 2019 with any remaining phases being completed in 2020.
The options for structuring the property deal are being finalised and will be presented to Cabinet for approval. The Council may now consider whether to work up the project to create an investment opportunity and either find a forward sale with interim funding or fund the scheme directly.
Leader of Sheffield City Council, Cllr Julie Dore has signed-off a report to allow the Council to secure properties needed to develop the New Retail Quarter. The properties have been subject to the compulsory purchase process for several years when the former developer, Hammerson was planning to develop the scheme.
Following the lengthy delays caused by the economic recession and being unable to gain a commitment for the work to begin, the Council severed links with Hammerson at the end of last year. It will now secure property in the area enabling a new development partner to bring the scheme to fruition alongside the Council.
Further decisions will need to be taken in July about the full delivery process.
Discussions are taking place with each of the affected property owners and they will be given the option to stay in their current premises until needed for the development to commence.
Councillor Leigh Bramall, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development 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 this happen.
“We are also conscious that the existing businesses should be able to continue to trade in their current premises whenever possible to ensure the area remains attractive to shoppers during this crucial period of transition.
”The New Retail Quarter is a crucial element in the regeneration of the city centre and for the economic development of Sheffield, including the provision of around 2,500 new jobs. It sits alongside other important new developments on The Moor and the Castlegate area that will build on the successful schemes already completed in the Heart of the City.”
The acquisition of property in the development area will amount to around £55 million and this would be recovered by the value created in the development on completion of the scheme.
Councillor Ben Curran, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources added: “The New Retail Quarter is a key part of our vision to give Sheffield a high-class retail offer that can compete with Manchester, Leeds and Nottingham.
“This is a significant investment and emphasises the council’s determination to enable the New Retail Quarter to move forward.
“Once completed, the New Retail Quarter will help to improve the status of the city and will help to stimulate future 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.”
Richard Wright, Executive Director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry commented: “The Chamber is absolutely delighted to see such a positive move on this project. It is a critical development for the city and we applaud the extremely positive message this sends and the ambitious timescale it lays out.
“We are hoping to see something distinctive, world leading and fit for purpose in 15 years ahead. This is a great opportunity for us.”
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