Sheffield’s main business body has called on planners to get the New Retail Quarter right in order to make sure the city feels a positive boost from its construction.
The £480million scheme is set to be built in 2019, with Sheffield Council looking to secure big-name High Street brands to anchor it.
The plans will catapult the city centre’s retail from 43rd nationwide to 32nd.
Sheffield Chamber of Commerce’s executive director Richard Wright said the plans must be ‘forward thinking’.
He said: “Will the retail quarter keep people in Sheffield who would normally go off somewhere else like Manchester to shop?
“Does it bring in even more people to Sheffield? That will depend on the actual design.
“We have always said that we don’t necessarily want a retail quarter that tries to compete with Manchester or Leeds. We want something that offers something different.
“It also needs to be something forward-looking, and it needs to be the right thing for Sheffield.
“You need to predict what the customer will want in future. What will customers want from shops in 2025?”
Meadowhall manager Darren Pearce said the NRQ is ‘good news for all’. He added: “We work hard to constantly listen, respond to and deliver for our shoppers. High streets need to refocus their efforts on delivering the right product for the consumer too, which today will typically include a blend of retail, leisure and food and beverage that serves the local catchment.
“Plans for the NRQ is great news for the city centre and the people of Sheffield, further developing the region’s wider retail offer and boosting our local economy: good news for all.”