19 May 2015

Sheffield City Council today unveiled a bold new look for Sheffield city centre, which will transform it into a top shopping destination.

Local people and business owners are invited to have their say on the plans for the Sheffield Retail Quarter, which also includes new offices, homes and restaurants. For the first time, detailed proposals have been released to give a flavour of what could be possible around Barkers Pool, Pinstone Street and Moorhead.

The development is the missing piece between other popular areas in the city centre, including Fargate, The Moor and Division Street. It could create around 2500 jobs (during construction, and permanent) and bring in approximately an additional £300million a year to the city centre that people currently spend elsewhere.

Sheffield City Council took control of the project after parting company with the developer of the former Sevenstone scheme. It has almost completed full land purchase, is seeking a development partner and is now consulting the public prior to a planning application this summer. The aim is to start construction in 2017 with the first stores open in 2019.

Leigh Bramall, Deputy Leader, Sheffield City Council said: “We’re confident that this is very different to the previous scheme. The most successful city centres across the world are spaces where people can live, work, shop and socialise. They offer a great mix of independent and prime retailers, and encourage people to stay from morning to night. This is what we want for Sheffield, a flourishing city centre that is not only a good day out, but also offers jobs and economic benefits to the whole city.”

The proposed design reflects the rest of the city with attractive public squares, historic buildings and outdoor streetscapes. There could also be new car parks, bus and cycle routes and a new cycle hub. The scheme will incorporate the best of contemporary design and features, such as ‘click and collect’ facilities, whilst at the same time preserving the historic character of the area. The Council is working closely with English Heritage and will preserve Leah’s Yard and The Citadel (Salvation Army building), as well as facades along Pinstone Street and of the old Sunday School.

The public are reminded that these are only proposals, and by taking part in the consultation process they can have the opportunity to shape the next chapter in Sheffield’s history.

Simon Green, Executive Director for Place, Sheffield City Council, said: “Everyone recognises that Sheffield’s City Centre needs a massive boost, which is why we are proposing this ambitious scheme.

“The Sheffield Retail Quarter will attract investment, businesses and visitors to the city and help us to raise our profile regionally and nationally.

“The retail quarter can play an important role in securing Sheffield’s economic future, and will complement exciting regeneration schemes such as Castlegate, The Moor, West Bar and the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District.”

Full public consultation on the proposals will run from 18 May until 19 June 2015.

To have your say:
• Visit our exhibition outside the Town Hall on:
o Wed 3 June, 11am to 6pm
o Thursday 4 June: 11am to 6pm
o Friday 5 June: 11am to 6pm
o Saturday 6 June: 11am to 5pm
• Visit Sheffield Retail Quarter
• Email info@sheffieldretailquarter.com
• Call us on 0800 731 5515 (Freephone)
• Follow us on Twitter @sheffRQ #sheffRQ
• Find us on Facebook: SheffieldRetailQuarter
• Follow us on Instagram: SheffieldRetailQuarter

Ends

Notes to editors:
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.

Economic Value
• The total investment for Sheffield Retail Quarter will be determined in partnership with a new development partner; however it is expected to be in the region of £480 million.

• Sheffield Retail Quarter is expected to create construction jobs and new additional permanent jobs in the city centre of around 2500.

• The development of Sheffield Retail Quarter would also generate additional rates income which the Council can retain under the New Development Deal the Council was awarded by the Government in November 2012 and became operational in April 2013. This increased income also allows the council to raise finance which will be invested in the delivery of Sheffield Retail Quarter.

• The scheme is estimated to draw back some £300 million per annum of available spend that is currently being spent in other regions.

• The scheme, combined with Meadowhall will move Sheffield into the top 10 retail centres in the UK.

Retail demand in Sheffield City Centre
(Source: Sheffield City Centre Retail Needs Study by Harper Dennis Hobbs)
• Sheffield Retail Quarter will benefit the city centre as a whole: retail spend will also increase in existing key retail areas such as The Moor (£27.5 million) and the Devonshire Quarter (£18.1 million), compared to 2015. These areas will benefit as Sheffield Retail Quarter, alongside the extension of The Moor, will help to attract higher numbers of shoppers to the city centre but the retailers present will not overlap.

• The city centre will offer a complete retail offer, segmented into specific zones, creating both a varied and easily navigable shopping experience. The scheme will finally unite the key areas in the city centre to create a continuous retail pitch from The Moor, through Sheffield Retail Quarter and up to Fargate. Sheffield Retail Quarter and Fargate will be the centre-piece of the city’s retail with the best mid-market brands and upper mid-market brands trading, whereas The Moor will offer a comfortable environment for value-oriented shopping, and The Devonshire Quarter will continue to be a breeding ground for exciting vintage and independent brands.

• Demand from retailers currently outstrips supply, in terms of good quality, modern retail space. Many of the UK’s largest retail brands, such as H&M, Next, New Look and Topshop, trade from stores that are over 60 per cent smaller than their average store size in UK cities with a similar population. These retailers are unable to trade to their full potential due to their severely limited space.

• Sheffield Retail Quarter will move Sheffield city centre from 43rd place to 32nd place in HDH’s UK retail rankings. Sheffield City Centre currently sits alongside Northampton and Stoke-on-Trent, which are not suitable comparisons for a city of Sheffield’s size.

• Online spend now accounts for 15 per cent of total retail spend in Sheffield’s catchment. Sheffield Retail Quarter will be a future-proof scheme designed to account for this new omni-channel retail environment.

• Only 19 per cent of Meadowhall’s retailers are also trading in the city centre, compared to a benchmark average of 53 per cent. This shows that there is significant potential for retailers to take a 2nd store, in the city centre.

• When analysing the catchment customer base there is a clear discrepancy between supply and demand in terms of retail. 36 per cent of Sheffield’s shoppers require a mid-market retailer offer, compared to the 23 per cent supply. Moreover 10 per cent of shoppers require upper mid-market/premium retail against a supply of only 2 per cent.

• Sheffield’s daytime working population is relatively aspirational, with over 18,000 managers, directors & senior officials and over 38,000 professional occupations. These affluent workers tend to have high annual retail spends and Sheffield Retail Quarter will be designed with them in-mind, for instance integrating on-the-go catering.

• Sheffield city centre is significantly under-supplied in terms of specific types of retail floor space when compared to comparable city centres:
– 7.4 per cent of the retail is fashion based, compared to an average of 19.2 per cent.
– 4.0 per cent of health & beauty floor space, compared to an average of 7.0 per cent.
– 12.7 per cent of catering floor space, compared to 21.4 per cent.

• There are 60,000 students at 2 world-renowned universities based in the city centre, with annual spend of some £223 million. Together these universities account for over 10,000 international students, including over 3,500 Chinese students. These international students have high retail spends in their own right, but also attract significant additional spend from regular international visitors.