Sheffield could be in line for a big cash boost to the tune of £90 million when its long-delayed New Retail Quarter finally comes to fruition, we have highlighted today.
But rather than being an injection of new funding, instead we’re told the cash is money which should rightfully be spent here in our city, but is ‘leaking’ out of the area as shoppers are tempted away by more enticing, aspirational store brands in neighbouring places such as Leeds and Manchester.
If the council can pull this off and claw the money back, it will be a much-needed shot in the arm for the economy, having a knock-on effect which will improve trade for Sheffield’s restaurants and cultural attractions.
More High Street glamour will offer a rival location for a day out or city break, bringing in people from across the North and beyond.
And of course, there are many local residents now completely out of the habit of visiting the city centre, who can be lured back again with the promise of a whole new city centre shopping experience.
The challenge will be to keep people returning repeatedly, rather than ‘a trip to see the Sheffield shopping centre’ being a one-off novelty. That is the key to future prosperity.
by Richard Blackledge