The Star Says: City centre reflects on all of Sheffield

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There is no doubt about the importance of a thriving, vibrant city centre to the whole of Sheffield.

It is where many of us work, shop, socialise or take visitors when they arrive from out of town.

Its success or failure reflects on us all, which is why we’re never shy in updating The Star’s readers about the latest plans of schemes which take place there.

Today we report on a new vision of a transformed city centre – including a 3,000-space underground car park.

Sheffield Retail Development Group, made up of business people, has put together the proposals and says they could be brought to life by 2018 at a cost of about £500million.

The plans include around 500,000 sq ft of shops, offices, restaurants and bars to fill a ‘connecting series of new Continental-style squares, pedestrianised streets, and alleyways, creating contrasting areas for street performances and outdoor events.’

They also feature a Sheffield arts and convention centre, home to a new Sheffield Symphony Orchestra.

The proposals – which were once part of the bidding process for development partners for Sheffield Council’s new £480m retail quarter – are now independent of the NRQ scheme.

The 3,000 space car park is what is bound to catch people’s eye. More parking, cheaper – or free – spaces are what shoppers want.

Let’s give it to them.

Speaking of shoppers getting what they want, Moor Market is to open earlier every day from next month. The market – which opened in November 2013 to replace Castle Market – will serve customers from 8am instead of the current time of 8.30am from September 1. Last month, hundreds of people were invited to take part in a focus group on the market, while online and street surveys were also carried out.

However, the council said the decision to change the opening hours was because of separate general comments from traders and customers. Whatever the reason it is good that people are being listened to and changes are being made.

At the other end of the day calls have been made for Sheffield’s busiest nightspot to close at 3.30am in a bid to better protect city centre residents.

More people are living in the city centre – partly for the night life – but should there be a limit on the hours? It’s an interesting debate as is everything to do with the city centre.