The historic Hillsborough Barracks shopping centre could soon get a facelift in plans revealed by the firm that bought the site two years ago.
Opus North wants to rebrand the shopping centre it acquired in June 2015, changing the name to The Parade.
The whole site - which also includes offices, a hotel and a McDonald’s - will remain under the barracks name.
The firm says it has an ‘ongoing commitment’ to make a success of the collection of Grade II listed buildings off Langsett Road, with an emphasis on retail and local firms alongside other business uses.
According to a planning application submitted this week, Opus North wants to refurbish the ‘dated’ centre by updating some of the later additions to the listed buildings, such as the shopping arcade.
New signs will be installed to reflect the name change, shopfronts and steelwork will be repainted from green to black and there will be other superficial changes to give the centre a new look.
Opus North development manager Robb Smillie said: “The intention is to give the shopping centre a bit more identity.
“It gets lost in the wider barracks site. The aim is to spend some money, refresh it, give a bit more prominence to the tenants.”
Any changes to such a historic site are sure to be causes for concern among heritage campaigners. But the refurbishment should only affect newer parts of the centre.
Mr Smillie said: “It’s just the shopping centre - we definitely don’t want to move away from the Hillsborough Barracks name.
“It will still be Hillsborough Barracks but the shopping centre will be The Parade.
“The signage on the front will be Hillsborough Barracks. We don’t want to move away from the tradition and history of the site, which is a big positive. But we want to put emphasis on the shopping centre.”
The firm has chosen a black and white colour scheme, which it says will complement the sandstone buildings by being as ‘neutral and traditional as possible’, and also provide an ‘unobtrusive’ background on which retailers can display their signs.
A report by Ellis Healey Architecture adds: “The ‘Parade’ re-branding seeks to unify the site and reinforce the strong, coherent identity that it currently presents; both the name and proposed site logo reference the site’s original use as a military garrison.
“The logo also references the site’s unique architecture.”
It adds: “Alterations to Hillsborough Barracks will be to later additions to the site - circa 1980 - rather than the building itself.
“This will ensure that the integrity of the listed building will not be affected.
“Proposed works have been carefully considered, ensuring the client is able to achieve their intended rebranding of the shopping centre, while also maintaining the strong character of the site.”