A CGI of the Sheffield city centre regeneration scheme known as Heart of the City II.
A CGI of the Sheffield city centre regeneration scheme known as Heart of the City II.
Nick Hill

Sheffield City Council unveils updated masterplan for ‘innovative’ city centre scheme

Sheffield City Council has announced the next phase of work to deliver its city centre regeneration scheme known as Heart of the City II - formerly known as the Sheffield Retail Quarter.

The Council’s new plans include proposals for the introduction of premium retail and leisure brands, contemporary office and residential space, and brand new public spaces.

Construction on Phase One of the scheme, which includes the flagship new office to be occupied by HSBC, as well as almost 60,000 sq ft of retail space and public spaces and squares, is well underway and scheduled for completion in 2019.

There will be eight new retail units as part of this phase and talks to sign up the first tenant are at an advanced stage.

Sheffield City Council and development partner Queensberry will be presenting the updated masterplan to Cabinet for approval on 21st March 2018. The Cabinet paper proposes a phase-by-phase approach to complete the remainder of the scheme.

This updated masterplan will aim to retain more of the city’s heritage, including the retention of the Pinstone Street frontages and the restoration of Leah’s Yard.

Rather than create new streets, the scheme will follow existing street patterns to enable the retention of more of the existing heritage and to better integrate the new scheme with existing shopping areas.

This will also speed delivery of the next phases by avoiding the disruption and delays associated with changing street layouts. Retention of existing streets will see the John Lewis store remain in its existing location.

The re-worked delivery will provide a mixed-use district of 1.5 million square feet in the heart of the city centre.

As well as attracting premium retailers currently missing in Sheffield city centre, the proposals now feature significant levels of Grade A office and residential space. In addition, new leisure facilities will feature restaurants, cafés and a food hall, as well as public realm, and two new four or five-star hotels.

Completion of Heart of the City II is expected to create around 500 construction jobs and the scheme should support between 5,500 and 7,000 jobs once built.

Planning applications for the next three blocks are due to be submitted in early summer 2018, with public consultation beginning shortly after Cabinet, subject to approvals.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment at Sheffield City Council, said: “I am delighted to see these new plans come forward which will make such a lasting impact on Sheffield’s retail, leisure and entertainment offer. We believe that these re-shaped and exciting plans position Sheffield brilliantly to deliver an individual and unique scheme that reflects the different ways in which people shop, live and socialise.

“We are seeing schemes come forward across the city and more and more people choosing to live, work and study here. Our entertainment offer after 5pm is thriving. These new plans will see a truly innovative city centre emerging that reflects Sheffield’s changing dynamic.

“We are in exciting talks with major retailers but this is only part of the picture – delivering leisure, entertainment and tourism offers that complement them is what Heart of the City II is all about. The scheme has evolved to deliver not just a retail quarter but a new city centre mixed-use, vibrant quarter right in the heart of our city.”

Paul Sargent, chief executive and co-founder of Queensberry, added: “In the post-Brexit market place, it is really encouraging to see proactive local authorities like Sheffield City Council taking their economic success back in to their own hands.

“They are driving forward regeneration in the short term that will kick start much needed private sector activity in the medium term. We have been working closely with Sheffield City Council for nearly two years now to develop a masterplan that will create a renewed focus for the centre, that combines the best of the old with new buildings and enhanced public realm.”

Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, also commented: “We are pleased to see Sheffield City Council pushing forward with the next phases of this scheme. The revised plans really do target the high-end retail offer that the city badly needs whilst further developing the city centre as a destination for visitors.

“We are particularly excited by the modular design of some of the buildings which gives the flexibility to change layouts and meet changing future demands. This is a development for 10, 20 and 50 years ahead.”

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