Arches should be gateway to city

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The Wicker Arches have long been identified as one of Sheffield’s key landmarks .

The arches have a special place in the history of our city.

Most cities in England and Europe have similar structures that identify the gates to their city .

I would also suggest that these cities celebrate and maintain these structures to create iconic features that welcome the visitor and welcome home the citizen.

Sheffield is going through many changes that show that even in a recession the city is at least making an effort to make itself attractive for prosperity and investment .

The Castlegate area is a place that offers huge potential as part of a regeneration scheme for the city centre and the Wicker Arches are the Gateway to the proposed “gold route”.

The Wicker itself has improved dramatically thanks to investment.

The Wicker Arches also act as a buffer between the city and the Lower Don Valley, our major commercial and industrial district and should now be Recognised as the “city gate”.

A refurbishment programme would surely create a terrific focal point and also aid the regeneration as well as link up the city to the valley. An illuminated, clean and shiny Wicker Arches would look fantastic.

The recent arrival of the Tesco Extra should be seen as a positive step and will help the Spital Hill/Burngreave regeneration.

Urgent consideration should now be given to making The Saville House project work, possibly the best office development on offer in the city yet surrounded by the blight of an old sawmill which for some unfathomable reason has been listed.

This should be reversed and demolition to create a better aesthetic must make sense.

The Spider Bridge deserves a wider public and The Wicker could quickly become a vibrant quarter with an edge.

Maybe this is something that the whole of Sheffield can come together and campaign for.

David Slater