£50,000 grants for firms to 'transform' Fargate in Sheffield city centre

£50,000 is on offer to firms who want to take space on a prime street in Sheffield.

Monday, 16th May 2022, 2:43 pm

The city council is offering free money for capital - permanent - works to transform empty shops and ‘underused spaces’ in the Fargate and High Street area.

The ReNew scheme aims to reverse the ‘profound’ effects of Covid - of 40 units on Fargate, some 17 are empty.

It comes after the Government announced £15.8m from the Future High Streets Fund to revamp the area over the next two years.

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Central Buildings is earmarked for public cash in the 'Front Door' scheme.

Now, the authority has issued an ‘open call’ to businesses and organisations looking for cash for retail, food and beverage, leisure, hospitality or arts and culture projects.

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Applicants have to outline the costs and economic benefits of their plan including jobs created.

They must also say how it will increase the number of visitors to the city centre and give an estimate of ‘your footfall’.

Impression of the shipping container development coming to Fargate.

Expressions of interest on ‘no more than two sides of A4’ must be in by May 22. The ReNew Sheffield board will decide the best and ask them to submit a full application.

Retail in the city centre has shifted to The Moor following a recent revamp. Fargate is aiming to be a mix of shopping, dining, offices and culture. Currently, out of 23 occupied units there are four banks, four mobile phone shops and a vape store.

But more than £40m is set to be poured into the area.

Sheffield City Council has bought 20-26 Fargate, the former Clintons card shop opposite Marks and Spencer, aiming to turn it into a cultural hub with an all year round programme of events.

Some £31.1m of public and private cash is going into the ‘Front Door’ scheme to convert unused upper floors into flats, offices and even a hotel.

The provisional list includes:

Central Buildings, the white office block which replaced the famous Cole Brothers shop, is earmarked for a huge revamp after standing empty for years

Orchard House, which has Virgin Money on the ground floor, is also set for an office upgrade

‘Fargate Evolve’ could see existing flats converted into prestigious serviced apartments with a reception desk

The former Topman is being converted into a four-storey office with ground floor reception. A £900,000 grant from the taxpayer helped make the £6.5m scheme ‘viable’.

26-28 High Street, a former building society unit next to Max Spielmann, is earmarked as a hotel. The council aims to buy it - and the former New Look shop on Fargate - for for £2.4m.

In Orchard Square, former shops are set to be turned into flats. A £750,000 grant is earmarked for London & Associated Properties to convert disused space and improve the ‘public realm’.

Meanwhile, six independent food businesses are being lined up to trade from a £300,000 hub made out of shipping containers at the top of Fargate. It is likely to include shops, toilets, outdoor seating and a big screen. Cash has come from the Get Britain Building Fund.

And private company Woodhead Investments of Wakefield is rebuilding the old Next shop at a cost of £1.2m to create a new unit. It also owns the former Thomas Cook/Hays Travel shop two doors down and has put a new roof on ahead of a revamp.

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