Thursday 26 March 2015

Exciting new plans to transform the heart of Sheffield City Centre have been unveiled.

The new, vibrant retail quarter that would be delivered by 2019 – a scheme that will service modern retail demands and meet the Council’s vision for 2050.

The proposed £480 million scheme, designed by Leonard Design Architects, who have advised on some of Europe’s most successful retail developments, comprises approximately 900,000 square feet of mixed use accommodation. The proposed new scheme is predominantly retail and leisure led, but also includes over 200,000 square feet of residential and office space.

Simon Green, Sheffield City Council’s Executive Director – Place said: “These new plans provide an attractive new shopping district for Sheffield city centre.

“The design merges with Sheffield’s award winning public spaces and world renowned cultural assets – including City Hall, The Crucible and The Lyceum theatres – and links key retail pitches in the city centre from The Moor through to Fargate. This will complement the new shopping facilities and provide food and drink, office and residential space to extend the city centre’s attraction as an evening entertainment option.

”These are exciting plans that will help Sheffield meet the changing retail demands of the 21st century – a development that will be crucial to the city’s economic future.”

The new scheme aims to attract contemporary retailers to an enhanced, street-based city centre district, blending the existing unique and historic buildings with new retail and leisure outlets linked by top quality landscaping of a similar quality to the award-winning Peace Gardens and Tudor Square in the Heart of the City.

The scheme is also expected to benefit other shopping areas in the city centre, such as The Moor and Devonshire Quarter by encouraging more footfall and spend there.

Contemporary fashion will be located in units along Cross Burgess Street and Pinstone Street and prime fashion multiples will set the tone and style of the city centre, alongside an anchor store.

Simon Green added: “This is the right time for Sheffield. We sit at the heart of the devolution debate; we have an ambitious plan for growth; and we are delivering a series of enhancements to our city and public spaces through partnerships with universities, commercial real estate, homes and our hospitals.

“In the coming months we will launch the world leading Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District. All routes lead to the need for an improved and vibrant city centre with retail and leisure at its heart.”

Martin McKervey, partner at Nabarro and Sheffield City Region LEP board member commented: “The new plan intended for Sheffield City Centre is a great step forward. The proposed new scheme for the Retail Quarter presents a real opportunity to define and deliver a quality retail offering and is just what the city and wider region needs.

“The new scheme will positively impact all businesses across the city region which has particular strengths in manufacturing, healthcare, technology, creative and digital industries as well as financial and professional services.

“This new and exciting opportunity is a further endorsement of the confidence we must all have in the city following the interesting developments in progress such as the £65 million Chinese inward investment plan for New Era Square, the new Olympic Legacy Park in the Don Valley and the University of Sheffield’s Factory 2050, which will build a £43 million centre of excellence for advanced manufacturing. Sheffield is indeed an attractive investment opportunity and we have a platform to build on this.”

Sheffield City Council is currently talking to potential strategic development partners to help deliver the new scheme by 2019 and expects to announce a partner this Autumn.

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. This process will take approximately six months with an announcement expected in late 2015.

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 £90 million per annum of available spend that is currently being spent in other regions.

Research indicates that the new development will attract an additional £291 million of potential retail spend, an increase of 25.7 per cent on current performance in Sheffield city centre.

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.

• The NRQ 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.