‘Will Sheffield survive?’: Shocking video shows empty shops and ‘emergency sales’
A video showing the vast number of closed or closing business in Sheffield city centre has given alarming insight into the economic toll taken by almost a year of lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The video, made by Anthony Cunningham, was shared with the message: “Will Sheffield survive another year of lockdown?”
Mr Cunningham published it following reports that lockdown restrictions in England could get stricter in response to people flouting the current rules imposed in the national lockdown.
The video shows empty streets lined with closing down signs in shop windows, including the previously popular Sheffield Scene shop which closed after almost 50 years of trading.
Streets full of buildings for sale and half-finished building work is also highlighted.
Before Christmas eight Sheffield shops announced that they faced closure after Philip Green’s Arcadia group went bust.
These include Debenhams and Dorothy Perkins.
Throughout the lockdowns in 2020, dozens of businesses that occupied premises in central Sheffield shut down as their income plummeted and overheads remained.
In spite of this, plans are in place for development in the centre of town, with the Heart of the City II scheme bringing in new business.
Speaking about the plans for development when they were announced, councillor Mazher Iqbal said: “There’s no doubt that these are unsettling times for all of us, including many city centre businesses. Whilst it is critical for us to help our businesses with immediate challenges, it is also vital that we continue to build a strong and resilient city centre that is fit for the future.”