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Name for £500m Sheffield shops centre backed

BUSINESS and political leaders in Sheffield have welcomed the new name for the city's planned new shopping area, which is to be known as Sevenstone.

Developers Hammerson unveiled the name for the new 500 million development, which up to now had been referred to as the New Retail Quarter (NRQ).

They say the name reflects all the aspirations they have for the huge new development - solidity, naturalness and security.

And the name is a reflection of Sheffield's history through its seven hills, and the grindstones which helped produce its world-famous tools and cutlery.

Mark Lewis, managing director of John Lewis Sheffield, which is moving to a brand new store in the Sevenstone development, said: "I think it is absolutely fantastic.

"We have been looking forward to the NRQ for years - now it has got a name."

Managers at the store, currently based in Barker's Pool, were so excited about the new name they announced it over the tannoy system to staff.

Nigel Tomlinson, chief executive of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: "It is a bit of a surprise. I have swallowed it but I am not really sure that I have digested it yet.

"We have got to have some name for the development and I am sure that is a name that over the years will grow on us.

"I can remember the problems we had when the name of Robin Hood Airport was revealed. But a few years later, everyone accepts it."

Coun Tim Rippon, Sheffield Council cabinet member for economic regeneration, culture and planning, said it would help to put Sheffield "on the map as a destination city".

He said: "The name is very much for Hammerson's marketing purposes and we're sure local people will still refer to individual street names, as they will remain.

"Hammerson are one of the top retail developers in Europe, with a great track record in creating developments of this size."

Hammerson carried out research among 300 people to come up with the name for Sevenstone, which will be built between Pinstone Street, Barker's Pool, Division Street and Charter Square.

They whittled down a huge 700-name list of possible titles to just three before settling on Sevenstone - ruling out alternatives like Fountainhead, Stoneways, Greatstone and Middlecross.

Sevenstone will be a new shopping and residential heart for the city centre, with around 100 new stores, 200 apartments, a health club and leisure facilities. It should create around 2,000 jobs.

A new curved street will be created, running from Barker's Pool to Moorhead, provisionally named New Burgess Street.

John Lewis will be relocated from Barker's Pool to a new store twice the current size, on the corner of Carver Street and Wellington Street, and next to it, a dramatic new covered square will link through to Cross Burgess Street and the Peace Gardens.

The first shop buildings, including the new John Lewis store, are due for completion at the end of 2011 and the entire project is scheduled for completion in 2013.

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