Developer's cranes are a sign Sheffield is a 'city on the move'

New Era Square. Photo: Brian Hopwood
New Era Square. Photo: Brian Hopwood
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Parts of Sheffield city centre are almost unrecognisable compared with even a decade ago.

And with cranes dotting the skyline and more development planned, visitors are likely to see even more changes in the months and years ahead.

The new retail quarter site.

The new retail quarter site.

The most obvious progress is around The Moor, where The Light cinema is the latest building to open to the public, following the Moor Market and Primark.

The Moor’s owners Aberdeen Asset Management also have permission to build a three-storey retail unit on the corner opposite Debenhams.

Nearby the first stages of construction of the long-awaited retail quarter are taking place. A six-storey office block and surrounding shops will go up where the Grosvenor House Hotel once stood, while Charter Square is being redeveloped into a public space.

The city council will invest about £5 million in Fitzalan Square to bring the area up to the standard of the old Head Post Office, which Sheffield Hallam University has turned into the home of its arts department.

The Light cinema on The Moor.

The Light cinema on The Moor.

Both universities are putting millions into the city. Hallam’s developments along Arundel Street combine with the St Paul’s buildings to create a big-city feel, while towards Broad Lane and Glossop Road the University of Sheffield is changing the landscape with buildings such as the Diamond and a major pedestrianisation scheme.

Private developers are putting up huge student flat complexes around the city centre, such as those around Garden Street, Solly Street and Hollis Croft.

And there are bold ambitions for Castlegate and West Bar.

Sheffield Chamber of Commerce executive director Richard Wright said: “Cranes above a city are always a good sign of a city on the move and investing. Sheffield is no exception.

Student flats are going up off Garden Street.

Student flats are going up off Garden Street.

“What is more exciting are the variety of construction projects around stretching from the Advanced Manufacturing Park to the east, through the Olympic Legacy Park in Attercliffe and into the city centre with West Bar, the new HSBC complex and the New Era Development.

“This is by no means an exhaustive list but also covers a wide range of uses including education, industry and retail.”

Mr Wright said Sheffield could not get complacent if it wanted to compete.

“One of our biggest challenges remains housing where we need to accelerate the rate if we can,” he added.

Charter Square.

Charter Square.

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