Pupils at Stocksbridge Junior School were the star guests at the launch of a £42 million development in north Sheffield.
The children put together a time capsule to be buried on the site to mark the milestone in the Fox Valley project.
The pupils had spent a few weeks gathering information and preparing artwork about life in the area, as well as the history of the site, to fill the capsule.
The 28-acre site is being transformed into a new retail, office and housing development just off the A616 Sheffield to Manchester Road.
Hundreds of balloons were also released to celebrate the major investment in the region, which will bring new retail space as well as office accommodation and 114 executive homes.
It’s estimated the development will bring up to 900 new jobs to the area.
The first phase of the project has delivered a new roundabout on the A616 Sheffield to Manchester road as well as a new warehouse facility for Tata Speciality Steel to allow the relocation of the former steel stockyard from the development site.
But last week’s event marked the start of the main construction work on the land where the new shopping centre and high-spec offices are being built.
Mark Dransfield, managing director of Barnsley-based Dransfield Properties, said: “It’s fantastic for everyone involved in the project to see the development reach this crucial stage, we really are on the countdown now to opening in spring next year and to bringing a brand new commercial heart to this part of the city.
“This is a really important scheme for this part of north Sheffield which will bring jobs and investment.”
Angela Smith, MP for Stocksbridge and Penistone, who joined the school pupils and development team for the ceremony said: “It’s fantastic for Stocksbridge because we all know this site really does need to be redeveloped and we need to see it made useful again.
“For the local people it’s a much needed development which also helps to secure further investment in manufacturing in the area so that’s great news.”
Dransfield Properties has received an investment of £8,111,040 from the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme 2007- 2013, which is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government to bring forward the Fox Valley project.
For more information, visit www.foxvalleysheffield.co.uk.