Don’t forget Fitzalan Square

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THERE are so many forgotten spaces in Sheffield it’s sometimes hard to remember them all.

Which is why The Diary has been supporting a nationwide competition asking architects and designers to come up with ideas for regenerating neglected patches of land or buildings in the city.

Organisers Sheffield Hallam Uni and the Royal Institute of British Architects reckon the contest will generate ideas that eventually improve our environment.

But it’s not just forgotten spaces that seem to get, well, forgotten here.

One thing I’m always amazed by is how utterly under-used Fitzalan Square is.

Here we have this stunning, almost imperial suntrap bang in the heart of the city, bordered by lush green trees, flowers and some of our finest architecture and yet you never see anyone spending time there. Or rather the only people you do see spending time there tend to come out after dark, lurk in the shadows of the trees, and are moved to inquire as to your need for a bag of crack every time you wander past.

What’s with that?

Perhaps the heavy traffic on the circling road and the accumulation of betting shops don’t help.

But if Sheffield is serious about regenerating itself shouldn’t this potential jewel, along with The Moor, be one of the first places that is given a make-over?

NICE to see Barack Obama is staying at Buckingham Palace during his trip to the UK this week.

But surely if we’d really wanted to impress the American President shouldn’t we have put him up at Wentworth Woodhouse?

Twice the size of the Queen’s gaffe – and Rotherham just five minutes away.

AND also nice to see Birkdale School, Broomhill, Sheffield, bringing in former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett to perform an acoustic gig for pupils.

That’ll teach those kids to do their homework.

Mind you, it could have been worse for them. It could have been Phil Collins.