Meadowhall/Leisure Hall expansion.
Nick Hill

£300m Meadowhall leisure extension branded 'key strategic initiative' to Sheffield City Region

Plans to add a £300m Leisure Hall to Meadowhall in Sheffield have been recommended for approval by Sheffield City Council’s planning department.

In the report, published today ahead of the Planning Committee meeting on September 12, the Planning Officer has given their full support to the proposals.

The extension will add 300,000 sq ft of leisure space to Meadowhall and create 1,550 new jobs.

Housed under a glazed roof, the multi-level project will add new dining and entertainment options, as well as internal and external spaces for events and community use.

These include new restaurants, a brand new cinema to replace the existing cinema, a new café court, gym and additional leisure space. The plans also include a new open-air terrace that will allow visitors to dine outside.

The Leisure Hall will be integrated with the front of the existing centre to create a new multi-levelled, landscaped open space.

Publication of the report coincides with the news that Highways England has also given its backing, having reached an agreement with British Land on a series of enhancements and upgrades to the road network.

Developed with Sheffield City Council and Highways England, the highway improvement strategy additionally includes a range of public transport enhancements and initiatives to make Meadowhall more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists and forms part of a £15m package of investments in the area by British Land.

There is also considerable public support for the Leisure Hall, with a wide range of stakeholders pledging their backing of the plans. Over 1,100 local residents have signed a petition in favour of the Leisure Hall, and in excess of 400 letters of support have been sent to the Planning Officer.

Charles Maudsley, head of retail, leisure and residential for British Land, Meadowhall’s joint-owner, said: “We worked with a broad range of stakeholders to develop our proposals, to create an outstanding environment which continues to match people’s needs in response to the changing ways they live their lives. It also delivers wide-ranging benefits to the Sheffield City Region for many years to come.

“The widespread support our plans have received reflects the success of our partnership approach. The Leisure Hall is a key strategic initiative for Sheffield City Region.

“It sits alongside other significant investments in the city centre and elsewhere, and ensures the area continues to play a key role in the UK economy, creating jobs and a skilled workforce; improving the quality of life for residents; and enhancing its appeal to visitors.”

The Leisure Hall will create up to 1,550 permanent jobs once completed and 550 temporary jobs during construction. Working with The Source Skills Academy, Meadowhall will focus the employment opportunities on people living in the local area, having set a target of 50% of the jobs being filled locally, with up to 90% from the wider Sheffield City Region.

British Land will also provide £100k of pre-employability training and capacity building to help individuals and companies in Sheffield benefit from the development of the Leisure Hall.

Once built, the Leisure Hall will boost the City Region’s economy by £24.7m per year and raise more than £7m in business rates for the City Council annually.

Darren Pearce, Meadowhall’s centre director, also commented: “The Leisure Hall is the latest example of our investment in Meadowhall, and follows our £60m refurbishment, which completes this autumn.

“We have listened to visitors, residents, businesses and community leaders, so our plans reflect their needs, with a much broader range of leisure opportunities they will be able to enjoy within the Sheffield City Region. This is a significant milestone for Meadowhall and demonstrates our long-term commitment to the region.”

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