Funding queries over regeneration project

City gateway: Attercliffe.
City gateway: Attercliffe.
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COUNCILLORS are set to approve plans to regenerate a dilapidated Sheffield suburb – but admit they do not know where the cash for the multi-million pound scheme will be found.

The draft Attercliffe Action Plan was drawn up last year and, after consultation, council officers have finalised a document outlining their priorities for the project.

Council cabinet members will meet on Wednesday to approve the report, which details plans to create more jobs, boost business and smarten up a major ‘gateway’ to the city.

Coun Penny Baker, cabinet member for regeneration and planning, said: “Historically Attercliffe was the heart of Sheffield’s East End. Attercliffe Road and Common were lined with shops, banks, chapels, pubs and cinemas and I think most local families still have a soft spot for the area.

She said: “We want to breathe that life back into Attercliffe. All we need to do is to secure the cash to deliver the changes for local people.”

Report author John Bownes said: “The Attercliffe Action Plan is being proposed at a time of great uncertainty in the economy. Private sector development is constrained by the availability of funding and only the most viable of projects are progressing.”

Councillors will ask officers to look into potential funding streams if they approve the report.

One possible source of cash is a new funding strategy Deputy PM and Hallam MP Nick Clegg is trying to push through Parliament. If it becomes reality the policy would allow councils to keep some of the money they raise through business rates in order to redevelop so-called ‘accelerated development zones’ in derelict areas.

The new strategy would also allow Sheffield Council to take out taxpayer-funded loans which would pay for the infrastructure improvements needed to attract businesses.

The action plan includes rebuilding Attercliffe High Street, Zion Square and Adelphi Square and revamping the waterside. New business parks, housing and village greens would also be built.