Shoppers' loyalties divided by big plans for Sheffield city centre and Meadowhall

The 300 million Meadowhall extension.
The 300 million Meadowhall extension.

Sheffield shoppers are torn between the city centre and Meadowhall, with huge developments proving attractive for different reasons.

With the Sheffield Retail Quarter on the horizon and the redevelopment of The Moor ongoing, there are plenty of changes planned for the city centre. But visitors to Meadowhall are also likely to see change over the next few years, with a £300 million extension at the planning stage.

Julie Ann Beale was fully in favour of Meadowhall. She said: "Who wants to go to town to shop when Meadowhall has free parking, no beggars, no litter, no graffiti and it's under cover? Nearly all the shops in town are at Meadowhall anyway."

Louise Reed agreed that beggars were a problem.

She said: "It's bringing the city centre down - they're spending all this money on The Moor but not doing anything about the beggars and drunks that hang around the town centre.

"It does put people off going to town which isn't good for local businesses."

And Leah Stenton said: "Meadowhall just needs a John Lewis. That's the only reason we ever nip into the city centre."

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But many people said they would rather explore the city centre than visit a shopping centre.

Mary Robbings said: "I'd rather go to town, I dont like the artificial lighting and near enough everything else about Meadowhall."

Sheffield Retail Quarter.

Sheffield Retail Quarter.

Harry Theaker said he didn't like the 'artificial and controlled environment', adding: "There are free areas to park very close to city centre.

"I never pay but it does mean actually walking for a few minutes to get to where you need to be, which can also be fun as you pass by other places, see new wildflower gardens, architecture, people and animals."

And Tracey Lee said she didn't want the 'one-size-fits-all' shopping experience.

"I don't want homogenised mega-chains, I want to rummage in funny little shops and find things that are different," she said. "I don't want a migraine thanks to the harsh lighting and noise, I want fresh air."

The retail quarter is being built in two phases, but Sheffield Council hopes the overall project will be finished by 2021.

The Meadowhall extension could be open the same year. Updated plans will be on display at Meadowhall from 11am to 7pm on October 7 and at the Millennium Gallery on from 11am to 7pm on October 10. Visit

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