Backing for Sheffield city centre scheme that could 'support 7, 000 jobs'

An artists' impression of the master plan.
An artists' impression of the master plan.

A planned £500 million redevelopment of Sheffield city centre has been backed by Star readers - but many also say it is long overdue.

Sheffield Council has unveiled a master plan entitled Heart of the City II that includes new shops, two hotels, office space, apartments, leisure venues and a food hall, all set around tree-lined streets and public spaces overlooked by rooftop bars and cafes to be built on 1.5 million sq ft of land between Pinstone Street, Barker's Pool and The Moor.

Department store John Lewis is staying put in its existing premises, which are likely to undergo a revamp, a new 500-space car park is on the way, while the Grade II listed Leah's Yard - a historic complex of 'little mesters' workshops on Cambridge Street - is to be fully restored to become a home for a new generation of makers.

Sheffield Star readers took to Facebook to express their support for the scheme - but they also said it was about time it came to fruition.

David Fairey said there are "a number of positives here" and Craig Skinner described the scheme as "big ambitious plans" before adding: "Let's hope it all comes together."

Jane Brewer posted: "It’s about time Sheffield upped its game."

But Steve Donoghue said the plans are "25 years behind Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham to name a few."

The scheme is seen as the successor to Sevenstone, the proposed shopping project that stalled during the recession and was dropped five years ago when the council parted ways with developer Hammerson and opted to go it alone.

The first Heart of the City brought the Winter Garden, Millennium Gallery, Peace Gardens and the offices of St Paul's Place.

The initial phase of its next installment is also well under way - a new base for the HSBC bank, with room for shops and cafés on the ground floor, is taking shape in Charter Square on the site of the old Grosvenor House Hotel.

In the latest plans, the council is again acting as the developer alongside its partner, real estate firm Queensberry.

It is hoped work will start by the end of this year, with overall completion expected by 2024. Around 500 construction jobs will be created and, once built, the scheme will support up to 7, 000 jobs.