City must move with the times

Heart of the City II plan
Heart of the City II plan

Sheffield Council has revealed the future of the city’s high street lies in mixing big names with small independents, and embracing technolology.

As the council drives forward with its £500 million plan for the Heart of the City II – which will see new shops, hotel and public spaces brought to Sheffield – Coun Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment at Sheffield City Council, has emphasised the importance of the city moving with the times.

“With the growth of the internet, retail is under challenge but it’s a challenge that can be won if it evolves and embraces technological and consumer demands,” he said.

“Sheffield needs the right mix of retail, including big name brands along with small independents. It’s a brilliant city to start up an independent retail business and we work closely with partners including the Sheffield BID to promote shopping locally. With well-established and unique independent shops located throughout the city, there are many success stories in the city centre and within our neighbourhoods, and Sheffield people are very proud of the choice of quality local products we have available. 

“A great example of shopping local are the markets, which not only provide excellent value and quality but have also created nearly 500 direct jobs for local people who go onto spend their wages in Sheffield and the region. It’s estimated that for every £1 spent with an independent such as a market trader around 80p goes back into the city.

“There are many thriving local shopping areas in Sheffield and throughout our diverse and multi-cultural city we are seeing new, innovative businesses appearing to serve the needs of our communities.

“There are signs of development all around the city centre and we are leading the regeneration of the city to ensure our retail is not only fit for today, but also for the future.

“The New Heart Of The City 2 development will encompass the best of online and bricks and mortar to create, as the name suggests, a fantastic new heart of Sheffield city centre. It will house stores that are currently missing from our central retail offer, blended with quality food and drink, leisure, office and living.”

“As part of the plan we are also looking at the future of our streets around the development, using the Moor and Leopold Square as great examples of what can be achieved on Fargate, Division Street and Castlegate areas.

“It’s an exciting time for the city centre and we look forward to supporting and welcoming a range of new retailers, big and small to be a part of it.”