AN HOUR AT THE MOOR: The changing face of Sheffield City Centre

The Moor, Sheffield city centre.
The Moor, Sheffield city centre.
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In the first of a series of articles where The Star will be out and about across Sheffield, we spend an hour in the city centre to see the rise in footfall for ourselves.

Sunglasses and short sleeves are the order of the day as the sun beats down and shines off the newly-laid path.

Work on the Heart of the City II, Sheffield.

Work on the Heart of the City II, Sheffield.

People enjoy ice creams and cold drinks as they walk past and make the most of the warm weather.

You could be forgiven for thinking I was sat in the middle of a Mediterranean town/resort but there is one unique sound which gives away the location - the beeping sound of construction and demolition vehicles.

Sheffield city centre is changing - and it's happening at quite some pace. You can be in pretty much any location whether it be Fargate, Kelham Island or The Moor and you'll see a crane or digger at work.

Huge, multi-million pound developments are being built across the city centre and Sheffield Council told us the ongoing work on The Moor had seen footfall rise by 23 per cent in the year to February.

Shane Thompson and Katie De La Foret on The Moor, Sheffield.

Shane Thompson and Katie De La Foret on The Moor, Sheffield.

I wanted to find out if that figure could be seen on the streets our city and headed to the streets of the city centre for an hour.

I am sat on one of the newly-installed benches at the top of The Moor near Cafe Nero. I wanted to see if the figures we obtained were a true reflection of what is happening on the streets of our city centre.

Sheffield was gleaming in the sunshine and yes, there was certainly plenty of people passing by. Workers were nipping out for their lunch, and perhaps more pleasing, there were more than a fair share of people with shopping bags in their hands.

The area seemed to have a 'buzz' about it. It felt like I was in a bustling city centre and that has often been the opposite to what people have said in recent years.

Janet Lord from Wadsley Bridge was in the city centre with her daughter Julie. She had just been to Atkinsons to buy some shoes.

Julie said: "We don't come into town very often because we do a lot of shopping online but when the weather is like this it's nice to come and have a walk.

"I think The Moor transformation is wonderful - it's a great thing for Sheffield."

During the hour, it was clear to see that the addition of Primark to The Moor was a big hit with shoppers - the store's brown paper bags were everywhere.

The coffee shops are also busy as workers grab a drink and a bite to eat.

Shane Thompson and girlfriend Katie De La Foret were making the most of the sunshine and relaxing on a bench.

Shane, 20, from Northampton, was spending a couple of nights with University of Sheffield student Katie.

He said: "My first impressions of the city centre area are that it's very clean compared to Northampton. The only downside is that the shops all shut at 6pm. We've got the Riverside Retail Park in Northampton and it's open until 8pm."

Falling short of counting every person that walked up and down The Moor, it is clear that footfall is on the up and the sound of construction vehicles working on the £470 million Heart of the City II means that number is only going to continue to grow.