More than £43 million has been spent so far on preparing a scheme for Sheffield’s new retail quarter.
Figures obtained under The Star’s Your Right to Know campaign show the largest cost has been in acquiring property needed for the shopping destination - at a sum of £35,728,877 so far.
Sheffield Council had to buy back buildings in the city centre from developer Hammerson after the former Sevenstone scheme was shelved after long delays.
But the second biggest cost was ‘design fees’ paid out to consultants- which have topped £4.3m so far.
The council said these covered a list of 37 services, including everything from ‘geotechnical engineering’ to ‘pedestrian connectivity consultancy’ and ‘microclimate (wind) assessment.’
Legal fees topped £412,000, surveyors’ fees £942,830 and another £222,279 was spent on public consultation, marketing, public relations and specialist retail analysis.
This is on top of internal staff charges, departmental costs and in-house project administation which have totalled more than £1.4m collectively.
Altogether, the total spend so far £43,909,819.
The council says it is funding the costs from prudential borrowing for capital investment and it had always said that the costs up until March 2016 would be around £61.2m so the scheme was within budget.
It has comissioned independent studies to showcase the commercial viability of the scheme and all had ‘concluded that the scheme as presented would be successful.’
However, outline plans have yet to be agreed, anchor store John Lewis has not yet agreed to move to a new location and a developer will not be chosen until next year.
Leigh Bramall, council deputy leader and cabinet member for business, said: “Sheffield Retail Quarter could bring in £300 million of extra spend into the city centre every year.
“This would completely reverse the fortunes of the heart of Sheffield.
“As with all council spending, we are committed to being transparent about costs. We published the proposed costs for the scheme widely during the public consultation and all spend with external suppliers over £250 is published on the council website. The impact of this scheme on Sheffield could be incredible, so we’re putting the right money behind it to get it off the ground and we will take our time to get it right.”
Expenditure to date
£485,840 - internal staff charges
£939,791 - SCC departmental costs (legal, commercial, ect)
£25,526 - project administration Sheffield City Council
£4,371,749 - design fees
£35,728,877 - property acquisitions
£140,490 - emergency property works
£412,402 - legal fees in connection with planning, procuement and acquisitions
£942,830 - surveyors’ fees in connection with planning, procurement and acquisitions
£222,729 - public consultation, marketing, PR, specialist retail analysis
£55,570 - asbestos surveys
£584,014 - demolition project, estate management