Sheffield City Centre is undoubtedly a mess compared to places like Leeds.
Leeds’ main shopping area is a huge square of criss crossing streets that are totally pedestrianised and it is barely five minutes walk between the two furthest apart shops. If you want to compare prices in different shops it is quite easy in Leeds centre, compared with the long hike in Sheffield where the centre seems to stretch from the current market site to the bottom of the Moor.
Sheffield is too spread out, and branching the centre out the length of Division Street and West Street has not helped.
Leeds seems vibrant with all the hustle and bustle you would expect in a city centre, but I doubt the actual footfall is much different to Sheffield’s. It’s just more compact.
We have also lost many shops because of the Sevenstones development. Shops should have been allowed to stay where they were, on short-term leases, until shortly before building work.
Leeds has also developed its city centre over the past few decades, with lovely covered alleyways peppered with smart little shops.
Sheffield needs to define its city centre.
If what we have is smart, bright and compact enough so that a day out doesn’t require hiking boots, then it might just flourish.
Leeds is a shopping experience; Sheffield is a run down chore.