John Lewis Sheffield: Council urged to move fast to stop £100m 'home of football' going to rival city

A top Sheffield businessman has urged Sheffield City Council to work ‘as fast as it can’ to avoid a £100m ‘home of football’ investment going to a rival city.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 8:29 pm

Patrick Abel, corporate finance partner, at Hart Shaw Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers, compared the potential deal with failed plans by developer Hammerson to build Sevenstone shopping centre.

He said: “We need Sheffield City Council to work with genuine investors and move as fast as we can to avoid projects going elsewhere.

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The Star revealed a global sporting brand wants to spend £100m converting the former John Lewis store into a visitor attraction to include a football museum, have-a-go experiences, bars and restaurants and pitches on the roof.

“We had years of consultation on the Sevenstone shopping project and by time they'd gone through all the tenders etc, we were in a global recession and developer Hammerson pulled out!”

WHAT IS THE £100M HOME OF FOOTBALL PLAN?

The Star revealed a global sporting brand wants to spend £100m converting the former John Lewis store into a visitor attraction to include a football museum, have-a-go experiences, bars and restaurants and pitches on the roof.

The report attracted huge attention. A post about it on business editor David Walsh’s LinkedIn page has had more than 34,000 views and 530 ‘likes’.

Many said Sheffield should seize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to kill two birds with one stone - huge investment and reuse of a giant building - after a difficult period for the city centre.

Many said Sheffield should seize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to kill two birds with one stone - huge investment and the reuse of a giant building - after a difficult period for the city centre.

But politicians and officials said the scheme would not get special treatment and would join other ideas in a public consultation not set to start until January.

Sheffield City Council was approached for comment.

Last week, council leader Terry Fox said the authority would seriously consider the idea but there would be no 'knee jerk reactions' and no decision until the new year.

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