Take Two with Colin Drury

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After standing empty for some 25 years it’s probably a truism that plenty of people barely even notice the abandoned NUM headquarters in Barker’s Pool anymore.

Schemes to transform it have come and gone, plans made and disappeared, leaving this magnificent building in this magnificent location to remain unused.

So, it’s hard to get too excited over new claims the complex could be just weeks away from a £5 million restaurant, leisure and office deal.

Developers told The Star they need just one more occupier to sign up so they can start on the transformation – but then transformations have been just weeks away before.

And yet, putting cynicism to one side, wouldn’t it be fantastic if this did happen? Wouldn’t a vibrant new hub create a much-needed neighbour for the City Hall? Ultimately wouldn’t it be terrific if, after almost three decades of decline, this now historic complex could become a part of Sheffield’s future and help regenerate those mid-streets between Barker’s Pool, West Street and Leopold Square?


But, meanwhile, the New Retail Quarter disaster continues to drag on.

It’s been a year now since Sheffield City Council dropped developer Hammerson from the £400 million scheme because of lack of progress. But nothing notable has happened since.

“We will make an announcement in our own time,” Simon Green, council executive director, arrogantly told The Star

What a shame the authority’s own time seems always be some indeterminate date in the future that never comes to fruition.