A FORMER bank manager on The Moor in Sheffield has hit out at its current state with boarded-up shops and the derelict site of a planned market.
Chris Morgan, former manager of the Lloyds Bank branch on The Moor, said: “What a sad scene it is today. The bottom block on the east side demolished and almost half the rest no longer trading, or looking sick.”
However, efforts are now under way to revitalise The Moor, with work to begin on the new market later this year, plans to rebuild shop units and repave the street.
Mr Morgan said: “About 1986 I was briefly a member of The Moor traders’ committee’s Moor the Merrier group. All shops on The Moor were invited to join, but most didn’t bother.
“Due to the multiple store character of the shops, few managers had much discretion, so little got done.
“This was when the Tyneside Metrocentre was opening and a number of us went to see it. We were impressed and the driving characters thought we might have trouble if anything like that came to Sheffield.”
He revealed shopkeepers had a plan to fight back - by putting a roof on the street.
Mr Morgan said: “A concept drawing was produced. I sense the buildings wouldn’t have been able to take the weight and nobody had the initiative to move it forward. But wouldn’t it have made a difference if the landlords could have made it work?”
Plans are now under way to transform the site and Sheffield Council and Scottish Widows, the investment firm which owns the leasehold of The Moor, signed legal agreements to deliver major regeneration of the area last week.
Coun Helen Mirfin-Boukouris, council cabinet member for business, jobs and growth, said: “We are looking forward to a dramatic transformation of The Moor.”
n Why is the city such a dump? See Monica’s column in Retro on Saturday