Chapel Walk: Ancient Sheffield city centre lane 'should be modelled on Shambles in York' to revive it

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Sheffield City Council is spending £1.24m to revive its fortunes

An ancient lane in Sheffield city centre should be modelled on The Shambles in York to revive its fortunes, a reader has suggested.

Sheffield City Council’s is spending £1.24m on public art, lighting and shop front revamps on Chapel Walk in a bid to revive the once popular pedestrian route.

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Chapel Walk should be modelled on The Shambles in York to revive its fortunes, a reader has suggested.
Chapel Walk should be modelled on The Shambles in York to revive its fortunes, a reader has suggested.
Chapel Walk should be modelled on The Shambles in York to revive its fortunes, a reader has suggested. | national world

It is also handing grants to incoming businesses to help with refurbishment costs. The latest is Gut Level an LGBTQ+ friendly collective which is taking the former Andrew Tea Rooms.

The Shambles in York (James Hardisty)The Shambles in York (James Hardisty)
The Shambles in York (James Hardisty) | James Hardisty

Chapel Walk dates back to the middle ages and used to be a bustling alley. But due to a shift of retail to The Moor, the rise of online shopping and months of scaffolding in 2019 - which made it a forbidding and gloomy tunnel - its fortunes plummeted.

A busy Chapel Walk in 1998A busy Chapel Walk in 1998
A busy Chapel Walk in 1998 | national world

The Shambles is a narrow medieval street of timber-framed buildings in York and a huge tourist draw.

On The Star’s Facebook page Julie Forrest said it should be the inspiration for its Sheffield counterpart.

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“Chapel Walk is a very historic part of the city centre. Have small exclusive independent shops, like The Shambles in York. No chains, fast food, hair or nail salons. Lots of festival lights to make it attractive. Clean it up and get rid of the graffiti. Maybe a pavement cafe at the end.”

Lynne Holmes said: “It used to be fabulous in the late 60s, retail shops and good vibes. Send someone to Leeds to have a look at the Victoria Quarter for ideas...then follow it through to Fargate.”

Ann Rhodes said: “A couple of wine bars, some unique little shops. All cleaned up and made to look quaint.”

Get a bespoke headline round-up, as well as breaking updates, when you sign up to The Star’s free emails Steven Leary: “We could start with lowering the rates for small businesses and letting people be able to drive into the city centre.”

But Jason Turton was despondent. 

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He said: “I can’t see it's going to matter, footfall is not there.”

Shoppers are pictured on the Shambles. (Pic credit: Simon Hulme)Shoppers are pictured on the Shambles. (Pic credit: Simon Hulme)
Shoppers are pictured on the Shambles. (Pic credit: Simon Hulme)

Announcing the £1.24m revamp last year, Coun Ben Miskell, chair of the transport, regeneration and climate committee said: “Chapel Walk has a proud history as one of the city centre’s most loved shopping streets and this funding will give a new lease of life to the area, attracting new visitors and providing a boost for businesses.

“By enabling local organisations to upgrade their shop fronts, installing new public art, and providing grants to encourage small and new businesses to move into empty units, this funding will transform Chapel Walk into a fantastic place to visit in the city centre.”

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