SWEDISH retailer Ikea’s plans to open a store in Sheffield are back on - with talks between the firm and Sheffield Council aimed at finding a site.
Sheffield Council’s former leader Paul Scriven has revealed he was involved in discussions with Ikea about establishing a branch in the city - but would not reveal which locations were being considered.
He said: “I can confirm that Ikea is looking to come to Sheffield and very top level discussions have taken place between the company and the council.”
New Labour leader Julie Dore said her administration would support any plans that were put forward as a result.
She said: “I can confirm that as a new Labour administration we want to make sure Sheffield is always open for business.
“We would be delighted to talk to anyone who wants to bring business and growth to the city, and if Ikea has a specific proposal they’d like to talk to us about we would invite them to get in touch.”
An Ikea spokeswoman added: “I can confirm Ikea has been identifying sites around the country for potential stores, including the area of South Yorkshire.”
The news was hailed as a boost to the local economy - because currently many people from Sheffield and South Yorkshire travel to Ikea branches in Nottingham and Leeds.
Plans were first mooted to open an Ikea in Sheffield around a decade ago but then the company began investigating a move to a site in Doncaster, off White Rose Way, which did not go ahead.
James Bruce, a chartered surveyor with Fowler Sandford, based on St James Street in Sheffield city centre, said: “If Ikea is looking at Sheffield, it would be great for the city.
“Not only would it improve the retail offer but it would be good for employment.
“Ikea would need a site located near to an arterial road, whether it were city centre or in the Lower Don Valley.
“There is not any particular site which stands out because there are many which could be possible locations.
“The site they were looking at a few years ago, formerly occupied by Yorkshire Electricity, at Parkway Markets, has now been developed.”
A number of other potential sites are still available, including off the Parkway and also near Meadowhall, where there are large areas of vacant land.