'Adventure park, artisan market, rooftop bar and restaurant' - Just some of the ideas being touted for what should replace Sheffield's John Lewis store following closure announcement

‘Leisure facility, shopping centre, food court?’ – this is what Sheffield residents think should replace John Lewis once the building becomes vacant.

By Kian Rains
Friday, 26th March 2021, 5:09 pm
Updated Friday, 26th March 2021, 5:34 pm

John Lewis recently announced (Wednesday, March 24) that it will officially close the Sheffield city centre store despite Sheffield City Council buying out John Lewis’ leasehold interest for £3.4 million to sign a new 20-year contract.

The company announced it could no longer ‘profitably sustain’ the shop on Barker’s Pool, and it was not planning to reopen it after lockdown.

We have asked people in Sheffield what they think should happen to the building once it is empty – this is what they said.

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John Lews in Sheffield City Centre is set to close. Picture: Chris Etchells

Popular Sheffield artist Pete Mckee tweeted about the recent news of the closure; he said: “Flatten it and turn barkers pool into an Artisan market each weekend, Food one week, vintage the next crafts the week after etc.”

Anna Whittle said: “I’d like it to be turned into a big adventure park for adults, something fun.

“You’ve got multiple floors so you could have a leisure centre in there but not shops and restaurants because we’ve already got so many of them we don’t need anymore.

Artist Pete McKee.

“People probably need something to do that is outside of their own home rather than sitting on the sofa.”

Adrian Kilanga said: “Can’t believe I'm even saying this, totally gutted the shop is closing and its coming to this. I spent three wonderful years there. But if it closes. Only two options for me.

“Keep the building as it is, refurb and turn it into an independents paradise, become the city with all the best independents under one roof on two floors, an incredible indoor food eating and buying market on the level of Philli or Bilboa and a rooftop restaurant or bar on top. Could even stick the "Cole Brothers" badge back on the front for nostalgia and as two fingers to John Lewis.

“Bulldoze and build a state of the art destination multi-use building with some indies, tech startups, food, apartments and some type of conference or rooftop bar/restaurant. But building something on the level you get in Manc, Brum or London. A real centrepiece of the city. Sad times all around.”

John Lewis Vox Pop, pictured is Anna Whittle.

Mike Rovenfield said: “Demolish it and build a landmark building right at the heart of the city.

“High rise mixed-use development - retail on the bottom floors, apartments and hotel space with a high-level bar similar to many you find in London or Manchester.

“Make it a destination building, somewhere that can really put Sheffield on the map.”

Paul Jihnst said: “Here’s an idea @SheffCouncil...... turn John Lewis into an indoor shopping centre full of nice shops, bars & restaurants which might just attract people to come to Sheffield & spend some money.”

@ohlaurahq said: “with the news of John Lewis closing, it would be such a good opportunity to turn the building into a small business department store. Small businesses can bring something new and exciting to the high street, and it would generate so many jobs.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.

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