A RESIDENTS’ group is trying to lure Swedish retail giant Ikea to Sheffield’s city centre.
Sheffield City Centre Residents’ Action Group has penned a letter to Ikea bosses, to Sheffield Council and to developers putting forward the Sevenstone project area as a potential site for the store.
The group argues that Ikea should opt for the city centre location rather than on land outside the heart of Sheffield to boost the area’s economy.
The group hopes the letter will kickstart work to secure a flagship store for the Sevenstone project, which has been hit by a number of delays.
John Lewis pulled out of a move from Barker’s Pool to the planned retail quarter earlier this year. Afterwards Sheffield Council said it was seeking a new ‘anchor tenant’ for the development.
Linda Cooley, secretary of Sheffield City Centre Residents’ Action Group, said: “There has been nothing but delays and it is already long past the time when Sevenstone should have finished.
“We were discussing what could be done and we saw Ikea were still trying to get into Sheffield. Ikeas have been built in other city centres, so it can be done.”
Peter Septhon, group chairman, said: “There is a big patch of land there. An Ikea would be a great asset, and it would bring an awful lot of people into the city centre.”
Les Sturch, Sheffield Council’s director of development services, said: “We are aware and supportive in principle of Ikea’s long-standing interest in locating a new store in Sheffield.
“The council also needs to ensure that any retail investment, if outside the city centre, would not undermine the delivery of the New Retail Quarter, or the future vitality and viability of the city centre. We have commissioned an update to the Sheffield Retail Study so we have a proper evidence base for assessing any applications that come.”
An Ikea spokesman said: “Ikea has been identifying sites for potential stores, including Sheffield.
“However I can confirm the Sevenstone retail scheme is not one of the locations we’re considering.”