A new scheme is being rolled out to improve one of Sheffield’s key gateway shopping centres.
The scheme aims to contribute towards the overall attraction and confidence of the Spital Hill area through a shop front improvement programme. This will also complement all the work recently carried out to improve the street appearance along Spital Hill and at Ellesmere Green.
Three years ago, a citywide strategy was approved by Sheffield City Council to help, support and promote local shopping centres. It was intended to target support at the under-performing district centres and last year Darnall shopping centre was chosen to pilot the shop front improvement scheme, which was successfully completed this year.
Darnall shopping centre was successfully completed this year, so the programme can now be rolled out into other shopping centres, beginning with Spital Hill.
Councillor Harry Harpham, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods said: “The shop front improvement scheme has made a significant impact in Darnall and we hope it will make a similar impact at Spital Hill. 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 streetscene.”
The wider regeneration framework for the centre includes improvements to the general streetscene to make the area feel cleaner and safer, training and support for traders, and enabling housing development on nearby vacant sites.
Local ward councillor and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Young People, Jackie Drayton added: “Spital Hill has all the ingredients to be a thriving and successful district shopping centre – a strong community, good range of shops and community facilities, and access to excellent transport links. But the appearance of the external frontage is poor in relation to the range and quality of goods sold inside.
“I hope that the shop front improvements will enhance the work already completed along the street and on Ellesmere Green, will tempt more people from within the community and across the city to visit an exciting multicultural shopping experience.”
James Oliver, Director of the local Principal Contractor m3, with offices less than a mile from the project commented: “We are looking forward to supporting Sheffield City Council and the independent owners of Spital Hill to improve the shop fronts with the aim of providing an appealing place to visit and meet.
“m3 takes pride in delivering what is best for the customer and end user that in turn develops long term working relationships.”
This project follows a number of regeneration initiatives in retail centres across the city, including Darnall, Attercliffe, Banner Cross, Hillsborough, Sheffield Antiques Quarter and Stocksbridge.
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 successful centres across the city. This would be based on extensive, citywide consultation with local residents and businesses about what needed to change in their area.
Through this Strategy, the Council is using £300,000 funding from the Local Growth Fund as a catalyst to stimulate private sector investment in Spital Hill and bring together untapped resources in local partners, such as traders and voluntary organisations to improve the area where they live and work. It is proposed that 100 per cent assistance be granted to meet the costs of the shop front improvements, up to a maximum of £5,000 per property.
Consultation on the proposed scheme took place with local stakeholders, including Darnall Forum, local ward members and independent traders in early 2013 and 2014. The scheme has been supported enthusiastically by local independent traders.
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