29 June 2015

Local people and businesses have given ‘very supportive, positive and constructive’ feedback on proposals for the new Sheffield Retail Quarter (SRQ).

A wide range of written comments were received from 574 individuals and businesses about the proposals for the city centre‘s new shopping quarter.

Independent and high quality shops, safe cycling and pedestrian routes, conservation of historical buildings and attractive public areas with green, open spaces were just some of the headlines from the public consultation on the SRQ.

Nearly 3,500 people also visited an exhibition on Fargate at the beginning of June to see the models and discuss the pre-application proposals for the new £480 million shopping centre. Many more attended consultation meetings or viewed the details online to give their comments.

There were a number of key themes that came through this feedback.

There was support for providing a variety of shops in the new scheme, particularly improving the high end retail offer and targeting aspirational brands. Many people felt that having a mix of high-street and independent shops was a priority. They believed it would give Sheffield a unique selling point that made it a different retail experience compared with other cities and make it more competitive.

Safe and secure cycling facilities in the city centre was mentioned many times as well as well defined, safe cycling routes into the city centre.

Pedestrians also wanted safe routes, especially at night, and pedestrian-friendly streets.

The city centre’s conservation of historic buildings also gained widespread support, including for the retention of the facades along Pinstone Street, the Citadel and Leah’s Yard.

Another key theme from the feedback revolved around providing high quality public areas to a similar standard as the Peace Gardens, with trees and green spaces seen as a priority in the city centre.

Councillor Leigh Bramall, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development said: “It’s really encouraging that so many people became actively involved in this consultation and we were delighted to receive nearly 600 written comments about the SRQ.

“Generally, the comments were very supportive, positive and constructive. There is real interest in the SRQ and this is reflected by the number of responses we have received. We will consider all the responses carefully and take them into consideration before moving on to the next stage of the development process.

“The SRQ will attract investment, businesses and visitors to the city and help us to raise our profile regionally and nationally. Our aim is to ensure the city centre becomes a top shopping destination and we are determined to keep moving this forward now.”

Sheffield City Council took control of the project after parting company with the developer of the former Sevenstone scheme. The Council has almost completed full land purchase, is seeking a development partner and has now consulted the public prior to a planning application this summer.

The aim is to start construction in 2017 with the majority of the stores open in 2019.

Ends

Notes to editors:
Proposals for the Sheffield Retail Quarter include new offices, homes and restaurants in the area between Barkers Pool, Pinstone Street and Moorhead.
It could create around 2500 jobs (during construction and permanent) and bring in an additional £300 million a year to the city centre that people currently spend elsewhere.
Some of the comments made as part of the consultation:
1. Retail – support for independent and high quality shops
• Requires a good variety of shops – a mix of independent and high-street
• Let’s support entrepreneurial independent retailers as part of the quarter
• The SRQ should improve the high end retail offer – aspirational brands

2. Cycling provision
• Important that cyclists can safely co-exist with pedestrians
• Improve cycling access to the city centre

3. Pedestrians
• The city should be easy to walk around
• Pedestrianised routes through the city will help connect areas

4. Conservation
• Heritage buildings should be a part of the SRQ and made use of
• Glad to see the Pinstone Street facades are being preserved
• It is important the heritage buildings are retained and enhanced. This is an opportunity to sensitively restore historic properties

5. Public realm (support for green space)
• One priority should be the essence of Sheffield; plenty of green public spaces with flower beds and trees
• [I’d like to see] more public open air spaces
• Would be nice to see green roofs incorporated
Delivery
• Sheffield City Council is currently embarking on a procurement process to work with a strategic development partner to secure delivery.

• Sheffield City Council is targeting 80 per cent scheme completion during 2019 with further final phases being complete in 2021.

• Alongside the process to secure a new partner, Sheffield City Council is to utilise funding that will be generated from the New Deal with Government (Tax Incremental Financing – TIF) for use to progress the scheme.