Opinion: Time for city centre action

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The ‘first in a new generation of city centres’ is being promised by leading figures at Sheffield town hall.

The authority is currently working on an Interim Retail Plan for 2015-2019, aimed at finding uses for empty shops and making business rates low ‘where possible’.

An action plan is also being drawn up to ‘restore Sheffield to its rightful position in the UK rankings’ as well as differentiate the city’s shops from other centres.

And a city centre development fund is being created in the summer to ‘drive future retail development’.

It is all very laudable but after previous false dawns for the revitalisation of Sheffield city centre the only time people will get excited is when something truly tangible happens.

At one end of the city centre this is already the case, however.

Representatives of The Moor claim the area has seen a 20 per cent increase in footfall year-on-year mainly due to the opening of the new market.

Thought must now be given to the other side of town now in the traditional shopping areas of Fargate and Castle Market.

Plans, strategies and funds are all very pleasant words but real action is what is needed.