Surge of developments create 'one of the North's best' regeneration zones in Sheffield

Historic Castlegate in Sheffield has been dubbed ‘one of the most significant regeneration opportunities in the North’ after a surge of new projects, businesses and residents into the area.

Monday, 16th March 2020, 1:37 pm

The Star can today reveal a string of new developments to add to high profile schemes that are creating an unprecedented buzz, including the conversion of the Old Town Hall into flats, cafes and a ‘souk’, and the buildings opposite into flats: the former Cannon pub, Davy’s Cafe and Cash Generator shop.

The famous ‘Welcome to Castlegate’ bridge at the top of Haymarket has been painted as the owners of B&M bargains prepare to let the upper floors for leisure space including a snooker hall.

The empty Shoe Zone shop next to Wilko is set to reopen for arts use and the former Tap and Barrel further down at Lady’s Bridge is being revamped.

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Castlegate is changing fast. 1) Arts, education and leisure businesses on Exchange Street. 2) Newly painted Castlegate bridge. 3) Hundreds of jobs in One North Bank office. 4) New gin bar in old public toilets. 5) £5m Grey to Green scheme on Blonk Street. 6) Revamp of former Tap and Barrel pub. 7) New restaurant in Hancock and Lant building. 8) Three flats projects in old shops on Haymarket. 9) New snooker hall upstairs at B&M Bargains. Pic by Google Earth.

But it must wait until the barriers come off the £5m ‘Grey to Green’ scheme, a new park on what was Bridge Street. Similarly on hold is an old public toilet on the Blonk Street bridge where the Sheaf meets the Don, which is being turned into a gin bar.

Across the river, the ground floor of the brown glazed brick Hancock and Lant building is set to have a restaurant or bar.

And around the corner on Blonk Street, upmarket office block One North Bank is set to be fully occupied by several hundred people when housing charity Shelter and tech firm Amvia move in, alongside utilities company XLN and regulator Social Work England.

In total, thousands of office workers are now based a short walk from Castlegate including staff at Irwin Mitchell and the Home Office.

Kisha Bradley and Kristie Rodgers of Bright Box Makerspace on Exchange Street. Picture Scott Merrylees

On Exchange Street, ground floor units are let to arts, education and leisure enterprises such as Bright Box Makerspace and Delicious Clam, with the help of grants from the city council and Sheffield BID. Across the road, the former Market Tavern is out to tender by Sheffield City Council for community or commercial use.

The National Videogame Museum on Angel Street has attracted several games cafes, such as Meltdown below legendary music venue the Boardwalk, which is advertising for a new occupier.

Meanwhile, the former Sheffield Castle site is likely to become a new park, subject to consultation.

Castlegate spent a few years in the doldrums following the demolition of Castle Market. Then Castle House, the former Co-op department store on Castle Street, reopened - following a £3m injection of public cash - as the Kollider tech hub, with the hugely popular Kommune food hall on the ground floor. It is also now home to top tech firm WANdisco - with another interested in moving in.

The famous ‘Welcome to Castlegate’ bridge at the top of Haymarket has been painted as the owners of B&M bargains prepare to let the upper floors for leisure space including a snooker hall.

That project triggered a surge in interest which has created one of Sheffield's most exciting areas. In Castlegate it seems anything is possible - and happening fast.

Alexis Krachai, one of the founding directors of the Sheffield Property Association said: “The area around Castlegate is one of the most significant regeneration opportunities in the North of England. New life is being breathed into the Old Town Hall, Kollider and more and more of the buildings in the surrounding area are being regenerated.

“The area is getting busier and new businesses are popping up all of the time. With the river, good transport links and historic ruins, Castlegate has all of the ingredients needed to once again be one of the most exciting places to live, work and visit in the city.”

The Castlegate bridge is newly painted.
The old Cash Generator shop is being turned into flats.
The old Cannon pub and Davy's Cafe are being turned into flats.
The former Tap and Barrel pub is being revamped. Picture Scott Merrylees
A ground floor restaurant is set to open in the old Hancock and Lant building. Picture Scott Merrylees
Office block One North Bank is set to be fully occupied while outside Bridge Street is being converted into a park.
An old public toilet on the Blonk Street bridge where the Sheaf meets the Don is being turned into a gin bar. Picture Scott Merrylees
Exchange Street is picking up.
One North Bank on Blonk Street. Picture Scott Merrylees
The City Growth campaign - run in partnership by The Star and the Sheffield city centre Business Improvement District.