Since the outbreak of Covid-19 our daily lives have changed considerably. Whilst we observe social distancing to stay safe it is important to acknowledge how this affects our work, life and leisure and how our city adapts to meet these changes.

As we face the daily challenges of the current pandemic it is encouraging to see work to transform our city centre is still in progress and that we will be ready to make way for life after the pandemic.

Planning applications for the next phase of the Heart of the City II scheme, which include a cultural destination and a new low carbon office building, have been submitted by Sheffield City Council this month. The announcement marks another milestone for Sheffield’s landmark regeneration project, as it continues to transform the city centre.

Block H, located between Wellington Street, Carver Street and Cambridge Street, sits at the centre of the Heart of the City II masterplan and includes some of the  most interesting heritage buildings.

Artist impression of the bar terrace in Block H

The strategy for the block is to create a new ‘cultural heart’ for the scheme, which will combine existing and new architecture to provide a destination which is uniquely Sheffield. The proposals have been designed by award-winning architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios.

Proposals for Cambridge Street Collective – which will sit behind Henry’s Corner and Bethel Sunday School on Cambridge Street – include a large, industrial-style space where people will be able to meet to eat, drink and be entertained. The historic building fronts will be retained and adapted to bring them back into use, with a new structure added behind which will complement the older architecture.

Wrapping this space will be complementary shops, a bar and restaurant, and an upper level leisure space. The existing Bethel Chapel building will also be renovated, with plans for this to become a live entertainment venue.

Next to Cambridge Street Collective, a visually striking low-carbon office building is proposed for the vacant site in between Cambridge Street and Carver Street. The new premises will provide approximately 70,000 sq. ft of Grade A office space over seven floors, with shops, restaurants or cafés at the ground floor. The building’s dark coloured metal finish is inspired by Sheffield’s celebrated industrial past, allowing it to complement heritage assets across the Block H site.

Artist impression of Block H

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment at Sheffield City Council, said:

“I am delighted that we have been able to progress these plans over recent months and can now submit planning applications for the next phase of Heart of the City II.

“The submission of the planning applications follows over six weeks of public consultation, where local residents, businesses and interest groups participated and shared their thoughts. The comments and insights we received have helped us to further shape these proposals, and I would like to personally thank all who provided their views.

“There’s no doubt that these are unsettling times for all of us, including many city centre businesses. Whilst it is critical for us to help our businesses with immediate challenges, it is also vital that we continue to build a strong and resilient city centre that is fit for the future. The delivery of Heart of the City II is central to those efforts.”

Andrew Davison, Project Director at Queensberry, commented:

“The plans for Block H epitomise our ambition to create places with character and personality that will bring something entirely unique to Sheffield city centre. Cambridge Street Collective promises to become a destination that both locals and visitors will cherish and enjoy, and we are very excited about bringing this vision to life.”