Milestone reached for Sheffield’s Park Hill flats renovation

Simon Gawthorpe outside Park Hill Flats, Sheffield.
Simon Gawthorpe outside Park Hill Flats, Sheffield.
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The multi-million pound renovation of Sheffield’s iconic Park Hill flats has reached a major milestone after the first phase of work was completed.

Project leaders Urban Splash recently completed the revamp of 260 residential flats, of which 164 have been sold to date, 35 retained for private rental and 23 reserved - leaving just 38 available to buy.

The commercial space is also nearly all taken as 10 companies have signed deals to be based there and are due to move in over the next few months. There is also keen interest in the remaining six units.

The completion of Phase 1 of the works is part of a wider £160m regeneration to make the 1950s-built complex fit for purpose in the 21st century. Phase 2 work will include more renovation of the huge site.

Simon Gawthorpe, managing director of Urban Splash, said: “The success of the first phase has been crucial to the whole of Park Hill having a future and being able to fulfil our ambition to complete the project.

“2015 was a significant year and I am delighted to see that our faith in the fact that Park Hill could once again be a great place to live, work and play is becoming a reality.

“We are now turning our attention to securing some great food and drink operators and are currently in active discussions with a number of very promising options.

“Creating a place where people want to live is obviously the baseline of what Urban Splash do.

“Designing a contemporary living space that appeals to and is appropriate for all generations is a challenge – especially within a concrete listed building. Working with our architects for the first phase, Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West has been essential to its success.”

One of the businesses that has just relocated into one of the new units is the Grace Owen Nursery School, which has been based at Park Hill since 1963.

Head teacher Nancy Farrow said: “Sheffield families have been taught at Grace Owen for over three generations.

“We cater for 80 to 150 children over the school year and we are one of the largest provisions for two-year-olds in the city.

“People describe Grace Owen as feeling like one big family.

“Children who have been here just a few weeks are thriving and once families come here – they don’t leave.

We have an experienced and dedicated team here and, for me, it is a joy to come to work every day.”

Mr Gawthorpe said: “It was always our intention from the start of the project to relocate them.

“Brand new premises for local authority nurseries is pretty rare these days.

“The businesses and residents have welcomed them and now we have a place where it is busy with people going about their daily lives, and it is lovely to hear children’s laughter and voices in the playground - not just workmen and diggers.”