Cash clawback fears as Sheffield City Council seeks builder and operator for culture hub
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Event Central, a six-storey flagship for the city’s creative sector, is earmarked for the former Clintons card shop opposite Marks & Spencer on Fargate. Funding was confirmed in December 2020 on condition it was complete by March 2024.
But two-and-a-half years later the building appears deserted with no sign of work in progress. And a Sheffield City Council spokeswoman confirmed they were still looking for a builder and an operator.
She said: “Sheffield City Council is in the process of selecting an operator for Event Central. More information will follow in due course. Work to secure a contractor to complete the building works is underway.”
It is the latest major project in Sheffield to be delayed including Fargate, Castlegate and Attercliffe.
Lib Dem leader, Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, said he was concerned inflation and construction costs would force Event Central to be scaled back.
He added: “I’m worried Event Central will be badly done, or if the government takes its money back, not done at all. The council needs to pull its finger out and meet its promises. Delays send a terrible message.”
And he took aim at a senior Labour councillor.
He added: “Coun Mazher Iqbal is the one constant in all this. All these projects were announced on his watch.”
Sheffield City Council bought 20-26 Fargate in 2021 after winning £15.8m from the Future High Streets Fund. The acquisition and revamp were expected to consume a ‘sizeable’ chunk.
Meanwhile, a revamp of Fargate is just starting more than two years after funding was announced. In the intervening period, costs have soared from £8.82m to nearly £18m, forcing the project to be scaled back. It had been set to include High Street and other areas.