Sheffield's £540,000 Container Park set to be turned into park toilets
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Officials are recommending the attraction on Fargate goes into storage, before being used as toilets or for catering in parks. Community groups will also be invited to use them.
The proposal is in a report to councillors on the Strategy and Resources Committee who are set to make a decision on Tuesday, January 24. Last week, the authority announced the site will close on January 29 and be removed by the end of February. It comes after the development of shops, eateries and a bar, was delayed for months, ran over budget and never fully opened.
Ajman Ali, executive director of operational services, said: “Although there have been several disappointing bumps in the road with this project, we are all committed to ensuring the future use of the containers is successful and valuable to the city.”
The report states the storage option – believed to be at Norton Nurseries – would bring costs to £541,254, compared to the original £300,000 estimate. Councillors will also consider whether to move it to one of two vacant plots near Sheffield station – a move supported by the remaining tenants - or sell it.
The officers’ report concludes: “The container project was commissioned to support footfall in the city centre after the global pandemic. Although it has successfully supported six vibrant, independent Sheffield businesses in the city centre, the desired outcome to drive increased footfall hasn’t been achieved.”
Now, an audit will be conducted to ‘highlight lessons for future learning’.
The Container Park was supposed to open in July offering street food, bars and shops. It partially opened in October. Problems included missing power cables, which meant a diesel generator was required costing up to £20,000-a-month. An upstairs bar was abandoned over costs ‘in excess’ of £180,000 to meet regulations. Some £70,000 was spent on ‘staging and levelling,’ an insider said. Moving the location 6ft cost a further £70,000 after Yorkshire Water - which had not been consulted - warned the structure could have damaged one of the city’s biggest sewers.