'Really exciting' name in frame for old BHS store in Sheffield

BHS in The Moor, Sheffield, before it closed in summer 2016
BHS in The Moor, Sheffield, before it closed in summer 2016
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A major retailer is being lined up to take over the old BHS store in Sheffield city centre, with bosses saying they are 'really excited' about the prospective tenant.

Sandra Barley, centre liaison manager for The Moor, said a big company had expressed an interest in the unit which has lain empty since the department store closed last summer.

"There's an interest in the old BHS store which if it comes off we would be very excited," she told a meeting of the Sheffield City Centre Residents Action Group (SCCRAG) this evening.

Ms Barley told how the shopping parade had turned a corner after 'some really tough times', revealing the number of visitors last week was 100,000 up on the same time a year ago.

She was speaking ahead of the Light Cinema's opening this Friday, when new branches of Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Zizzi and Pizza Express are also due to welcome their first customers in the restaurant complex upstairs.

She explained there had been interest in the remaining four restaurant units, one of which may soon become a sushi bar.

As for the ground floor units, she said an announcement was expected soon on the companies which will join Primark and Specsavers.

The Light Cinema and associated shops and restaurants mark the second phase of work to regenerate The Moor, with the row of shops opposite set to be transformed shortly as part of phase three. A big name in fashion is being lined up to occupy part of that development.

"There have been some really tough times on The Moor but we've stuck in there and I think it's all paying off now," said Ms Barley.

However, she said the shopping parade had been a victim of its own success, with the increased footfall attracting more beggars and unwanted street pedlars.

The Moor's owner, Aberdeen Asset Management, has now funded a dedicated police officer to patrol the street and tackle begging and other issues.

Ms Barley also explained that The Moor's new centre manager Amanda Phillips had a 'fantastic pedigree', having previously managed Covent Garden Market.

The next SCCRAG meeting will take place at Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind, in Mappin Street, on May 9, from 6.30pm. Anyone is welcome to attend.