9 September 2015

A new scheme is set to be rolled out to improve one of Sheffield’s key gateway shopping centres.

The London Road Shop Front Improvement Scheme is intended to help improve the appearance of the frontages of existing independent businesses.

The scheme forms an important part of a wider regeneration plan for London Road and it will contribute to the overall attraction and confidence of the area. Improvement of the street scene will help to boost the image and reputation of the centre and encourage additional private investment in shops and housing.

Councillor Jayne Dunn, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing said: “The shop front improvement scheme has made a significant impact in Darnall and Spital Hill and we are hoping it will have a similar impact on London Road.

“We believe that this scheme will help to create an attractive centre that people are proud of and will encourage further investment by the existing businesses. However, it will need the majority of independent owners to participate so that sufficient impact can be made to the overall street scene.

“Some exciting developments are already planned for this part of the city and these improvements will complement these projects to attract more people into the area.”

The Thriving District and Local Centres (Successful Centres) Strategy highlighted the importance of improving the appearance of the streetscape and public realm within the Sharrow/London Road district centre.

The proposed scheme is just one of a number of initiatives to be delivered under the Successful Centres programme for London Road to help build relationships and support independent trade in the centre.

It will also consolidate and complement other significant planned investment projects in the area.

The report to the City Council’s Cabinet next week (16 September) will seek approval for the London Road Shop Front Improvement Scheme as part of the Successful Centres Programme.

Ends

Notes for editors:
The Thriving District Local Centres Strategy was produced in 2011 and identified key themes and priorities to support and develop a network of nine successful centres across the city. This was based on extensive, citywide consultation with local residents and businesses about what needed to change in their area.
Five of the 17 centres (Spital Hill, Darnall, Stocksbridge, Chapeltown and Hillsborough) have already benefited from the Successful Centres programme. Sharrow/London Road District Centre will be the sixth to be targeted
Through this Strategy, the Council is using £600,000 funding from the New Homes Bonus as a catalyst to stimulate private sector investment in London Road and bring together untapped resources in local partners, such as traders and voluntary organisations to help improve the area where they live and work.
Consultation on the proposed scheme took place earlier this year with local stakeholders, including independent traders and businesses, Sharrow Community Forum, members of Portland Works and Regather. The scheme has been supported enthusiastically by local independent traders.
The scheme is just one element of a number of initiatives to be offered under the Successful Centres programme for London Road. The following work will be carried out to build relationships and support independent trade in the centre:
• Support the development of a self- sustaining Local Business Forum.
• An offer of support, training and mentoring for existing and new independent businesses.
• Working with Sharrow Community Forum to help deliver the Our Place Sharrow Project.
• Work with Portland Works and Regather to help support the development of the Community Economic Development Plan.

It will also consolidate and complement other planned investment for the area including:

• The privately funded New Era Square development. This is a £65 million scheme for land near St Mary’s Gate roundabout and includes shops, cafes, a Chinese supermarket, office space and student accommodation. The 20-storey development will also feature a ‘business incubator’ aimed at enhancing trade between businesses in the UK and China.
• The Gateway project aimed at creating better links from London Road into the city centre and to help boost the footfall to aid economic regeneration in this part of the city. Outline approval has been given for Sheffield City Region Investment Fund (SCRIF) funding for approximately £2 million to deliver this project.
• The ‘Our Place Sharrow’ project, led by Sharrow Community Forum. The Our Place Sharrow Operational plan aims to secure more integrated, accessible and effective services across the Sharrow area, through building and strengthening resident and service user participation and building resilience to help the local community withstand and thrive in the face of economic and social pressures.
• The developing ‘Community Economic Development Plan’ for Little Sheffield led by Portland Works, Regather and Sharrow Community Forum