Buying into the Moor spirit

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IT seems everyone is buying into the new-look Moor spirit as other stores announce their own redevelopment plans.

You have to hand it to Scottish Widows, the landholder of The Moor. It is inspiring a regeneration on a scale that other parts of the city can only look enviously at.

First came the helping hand from the council with the moving of the market to The Moor and the subsequent development of an unsightly hole in the ground.

It is strongly believed that Debenhams will be refurbishing its store - which is looking pretty tired compared with the artist’s impression of how The Moor will look, featured in today’s newspaper.

And now we have the tantalising prospect of one of Sheffield’s oldest department stores, Atkinson’s, getting in on the act.

Atkinson’s has a long history in this city, stretching back 140 years, and it has stuck to The Moor loyally, waiting on the promise of redevelopment.

Now it has unveiled its own plans to make sure its store - a favourite with those who know about it - but sadly a well-kept secret for those who don’t - will not be left behind.

Given the scale and the look of the development of The Moor, with its new cinema complex, as well, it is understandable why the council is reticent about putting that regeneration at risk by allowing a massive Next store to go ahead at Meadowhall.

We are living in fragile retail times, evidenced by the British Retail Consortium saying this Christmas was an acceptable but not exceptional trading period for shops.

We are still awaiting the Sevenstone development to go ahead, with fading hopes, and the council must do everything within its legal limits to look after those traders who are already fighting to make a success of the city centre.

The Moor development is just the shot in the arm it needs to strengthen its argument to persuade other developers to make that investment in the city centre, so that we have vibrant retail centres at Meadowhall and in the heart of Sheffield.

Helping to cope

TODAY sees the second of our giveaways as part of our £10,000 Twelve Days of Christmas campaign with Have a Child Have a Chance.

You would struggle to find a more deserving recipient than the St Luke’s Hospice bereavement bears fund - to help young people come to terms with a dying relative.

As a result of our campaign, 30 bears will be bought helping to bring comfort to young and old just when they need it most.