This is what is happening to the former Next on Fargate in Sheffield city centre

A plan to convert one of Sheffield’s most prominent shop units into a café and restaurant has been given the green light.

Friday, 3rd January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 10:27 am

The council has approved landlord Woodhead Investments’ proposals to use the old Next building on Fargate as a dining venue, which would include the creation of a roof terrace fronting onto Norfolk Row.

Clothing retailer Next relocated to a new 42,000 sq ft store on The Moor in August, joining the likes of River Island and Primark by moving across the city centre to the revamped street.

Over Christmas, Next’s former home was used as a temporary shop selling decorations.

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An artist's impression showing how the revamped former Next building will look. Picture: Pearce Bottomley Architects

Woodhead Investments’ application has likely been made to cut the risk of the unit sitting empty for an extended period.

The idea of using the site as a café and restaurant also chimes with the council’s aim of reinventing Fargate, as the city centre’s retail offering shifts to The Moor and the Heart of the City II scheme.

A business case is being prepared to bid for up to £25 million from the government to bring about more improvements on Fargate.

Approving the change of use application, council officers said: “Following the regeneration of The Moor as a retail destination and the future development of Heart of the City II, which on completion will consolidate the retail core to the south of Fargate and to the north of The Moor, Fargate is struggling as a retail destination and is subject to a bid to the Future High Streets Fund.

“The use of the site as a restaurant is considered to be acceptable in principle, and would assist in the adaption and regeneration of this area, complementing the viability of existing retail uses and the ongoing development of the adjacent retail core.”

The unit will be renovated with new glazed panels and stone cladding. A minimalist clock will be placed on the front of the building.

Designs have been drawn up by Pearce Bottomley Architects.

While further details of any planned café or restaurant have yet to be confirmed, the council said daily opening hours of 9am to 10pm were ‘considered acceptable’.

Any dining venue would potentially be spread across all three floors of the retail unit.