Make us proud of our Sheffield

Sheffield ccity centre: Photo by Ken Webster.
Sheffield ccity centre: Photo by Ken Webster.
Have your say

A REVAMPED city centre and a quayside lined with cafes are among the schemes residents want - to make Sheffield a city to be proud of.

More independent shops, cheaper parking, and quality bars and restaurants are also among the suggestions to improve the city.

The views come after The Star called on readers to share their visions of how to make the city centre a more attractive place to visit.

Some of the city’s independent traders admit they fear being driven out of business by a rise in parking charges announced by Sheffield Council this week.

Retailers are worried shoppers will be turned off the city centre, and driven to use Meadowhall, by increased ticket prices.

And readers have accused Sheffield of falling behind its competitors and neighbours Leeds and Manchester.

Reader Jez Ward said: “The council needs to encourage the right kind of businesses. Forward thinking is key.

“It’s about time Sheffielders stopped thinking like villagers, and started thinking like we are the fourth biggest city in the country.

“There are too many little thinkers in this great city.”

James Moffatt said: “They need to encourage people to spend but are making it more expensive to get to and park in town.”

The city has watched as a new £350 million shopping mall opened in Leeds city centre last month – while construction work is yet to start on Sheffield’s own £650m Sevenstone city centre retail scheme.

David Moss said: “It would be great to see some progress. Sevenstone can’t come quickly enough to attract bigger and different stores.

“A city centre that has the exactly the same shops as every other is not appealing for anyone, and won’t attract new people. Get tax breaks in place for quality independent stores to come here.”

Darren Clark Stokes called for bars and cafes to open later, to bring the city to life around the clock.

He said: “There is nothing in Sheffield city centre that has a wow factor. Make Sheffield 24 hours, with shops, bars and restaurants.”

Simon Matthews said: “Open up the waterfront areas with bars, restaurants and entertainment venues.”

Coun Julie Dore, council leader, admitted the city centre needs improvement – but said foundations are already in place for a rapid transformation.

Negotiations are continuing with Hammerson, the developer behind Sevenstone, while work is continuing to transform The Moor, including a new £17.5m building for Sheffield’s indoor market.

Coun Dore said: “Developers are showing confidence in Sheffield.

“I personally feel very positive about the Hammerson’s development, and the negotiations will draw to a conclusion shortly.

“What businesses are looking for is a safe city, and Sheffield is safer than Leeds or Manchester.

“Sheffield’s roads are also less congested, we have got the biggest regional cinema complex outside London, and we are the greenest city in the country.

“What is missing is eye-catching retail and independent shops.

“All the jigsaw pieces are finally coming together. More has happened in the last two years than the previous five.”

* Have your say on what Sheffield needs – leave a comment below, email, visit or tweet us @sheffieldstar using hash tag #lovewhereyoulive

* Find out how you can get involved with the City Centre Masterplan - see The Star on Monday. April 8, 2013.