RETRO: Moor is streets ahead

Moorfoot Market, Sheffield, 30th November 1993
Moorfoot Market, Sheffield, 30th November 1993
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Sheffield’s new market hall opens on The Moor next month – almost 50 years after it was first proposed.

Moorfoot was the planned site of a new market hall way back in the 1960s.

Market Stalls on The Moor, Sheffield'1981

Market Stalls on The Moor, Sheffield'1981

New ideas were being considered to bring shoppers to the area and a brand new 80-stall covered market area was just one of the plans that Sheffield City Council – or Corporation as it was then known – had put before it.

The Moor had been a key traffic artery into the heart of Sheffield and new shopping traffic had to be attracted to the stores in that area of the city.

As long ago as 1968 – almost a decade before The Moor was pedestrianised – councillors were talking about building a new market hall as long as reasonable rents could be agreeed.

A covered market on wasteland at Moorfoot was also considered but was not a solution to the problem of attracting Sheffielders to the area.

Market on the Moor, Sheffield

Market on the Moor, Sheffield

Coun John Neill, then chairman of Sheffield property committee said: “It strikes me as a very suitable area for a market.

“By mixing it with ordinary shop development, we could have a very attractive scheme and there would be a large catchment area of shoppers in the nearby corporation housing.”

Although the Moorfoot market hall never saw the light of day, outdoor stalls have been a feature of The Moor for many years .

Other areas considered for a permanent market building to replace Castle Market were Fitzalan Square and the old Co-op building on Angel Row.

The idea for a permanent market in The Moor area came up again in 1980 when the city council’s property committee approved the proposal for a new market.

Although the project was given approval, the new indoor market was never built and it has taken until this year for the 1960s vision to be realised.

Our pictures show that generations of Sheffield shoppers have enjoyed a leisurely stroll around the stalls – or a quick dash in bad weather.

The new £17 million Moor Markets will open at the end of November as the old Castle Market closes.

It is anticipated many stallholders with outdoor stalls on the Moor will retain their spots outside so the area will keep its open-air market feel.