BUILDING work on Sheffield’s new Moor Market and adjoining shop units has reached an important stage – with the last of 75 giant stone panels fitted into place.
The scheme, by Sheffield Council and Moor landlord Scottish Widows, is the biggest city centre development since St Paul’s Place and is worth more than £20 million in total.
Work started in June and, according to site manager Darren Lomas, of contractor Bowmer and Kirkland, is progressing on time and without a hitch.
Mr Lomas said: “The project is two schemes – the market and the retail united – and both are progressing on time and according to the programme.
“The retail units are estimated for completion on May 13 and the market for November 28 next year.”
The market is the long-awaited replacement for Castle Market, while the retail units are set to become the permanent new home of TJ Hughes department store, which left its old home in the former House of Fraser store last month.
Mr Lomas said: “Overall, both the market and retail units will be worth more than £20 million and this will be the biggest development in Sheffield city centre for some time, since St Paul’s Place.”
Work is happening in stages, with the exterior section of the retail units facing The Moor built first because a crane has to stand just behind the facade to lift the stone panels into place.
Darren said: “There are 75 stone panels, the heaviest of which weigh 11 tonnes and the crane has to stand in a certain place to lift them into place.”
The last of the panels was put into place yesterday. Their weight contrasts with the hundreds of steel beams also being hoisted into position, the heaviest of which is only three tonnes.
Further back on the site, the frame of the market building is starting to take shape, with wooden beams being erected which will form the roof.
Bowmer and Kirkland, which has previously worked on schemes in Sheffield including building Park and Springs academies and the St Paul’s Hotel, is using local contractors ‘where possible’ for the development on The Moor, Mr Lomas said.
Companies from Doncaster, Chesterfield and Sheffield are working on the scheme.
But one aspect will involve specialist contractors from elsewhere – erection of the brass shingle and glass roof over the market entrance.
The work will be carried out by Richardson Roofing, a company which has previously worked on the Eden Project in Cornwall, where environments including rainforests have been recreated under glazed canopies.
Work on the new market and retail units could not start until every inch of the site was checked for an unexploded wartime bomb which remains buried in the area. The area was surveyed to a depth of nine metres – the depth of the 706 piles which have been sunk into the ground.
The entire process took three months, with contractors working from one side of the site to the other.
Piling was carried out behind, in the area given the all-clear.