New event for Sheffield city centre

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A new festival celebrating city centre living is set to be held in Sheffield next month which its organisers claim is the ‘first of its kind’.

Inside Out Festival is being put together by Sheffield Rotary Club and the Sheffield City Centre Residents’ Action Group in an effort to highlight the community which exists within the inner ring road area.

The festival takes place on October 25 from 10am to 5pm in Tudor Square, Millennium Square and at the Mercure Hotel.

All of the forward plans relating to the city centre will be on display, including the city centre Master Plan, the BID proposals and the redevelopment of Castle Gate and the Moor.

Sheffield Futures, The University of Sheffield and Voluntary Action Sheffield are among those who will be involved with the festival.

There will be city centre choirs singing in Millennium Square and a range of gazebos in Tudor Square offering information from different groups.

One gazebo will be dedicated to food produced in the city centre, while another will offer a silent auction of the best items taken from city centre charity shops.

SCCRAG chairman Peter Sephton said: “It’s a celebration of city centre living for Sheffield. About 17,000 people live in the city centre, and about 10,000 of those are students.

“If you look at the two opposite ends of the city, Tinsley and Totley, they are clearly defined communities, people go to the pub, go to church.

“Yet it’s the city centre that is the fastest growing area – and we think of anything inside the inner ring road as defined as the city centre.

“A lot goes on but it’s not regarded as a community.

“Quite a few people come but come only for a few years, with a lot of students or young professionals.

“But there’s a lot going on, and so what we are doing is emphasising the community that lives in the city centre.”

A different speaker will deliver a talk every hour about the city centre at the Mercure hotel, including Sheffield central MP Paul Blomfield.

Organisers want to make the festival an annual event and expand it across three days.

Mr Sephton said the city centre community would become more important as shop space is increasingly swapped for apartments.

He added: “As far as we can tell, this will be the first of its kind in the UK specifically targeting the community living in the city centre.

“Retailers are going to need 40 per cent less space by the end of this decade because of the increase in online shopping. That space will be taken up by residents.

“We also want to encourage a mixed use of the city centre by families – accommodation for a complete mix of people.”