Historic Sheffield square set for £5.6m facelift

This is how a historic Sheffield square could look after a £5.6m facelift to restore its faded glory.

Friday, 10th February 2017, 5:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 11:42 am
How Fitzalan Square could look following the planned transformation

Fitzalan Square at the eastern end of Sheffield High Street was the city’s prime public space at the beginning of the last century.

But its appeal has since declined and today it is cut off from the city centre and choked by traffic.

Fitzalan Square as it looks today

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Council chiefs have now drawn up plans to revive its fortunes, which they say will help create 4,000 jobs over the next five years and attract many more visitors to the square.

Deputy council leader Leigh Bramall said: “This is an exciting opportunity to fully exploit opportunities provided by two of our key assets – the two universities and this area’s proximity to the station. This project should help to make this area become a destination in its own right.

“These developments will make Fitzalan Square an area where people again feel safe and secure, which should lead to a more balanced mixture of shops becoming established in the area.”

The first step towards the square’s regeneration has already been completed, with the long-awaited renovation of the former head post office to become Sheffield Hallam University’s Sheffield Institute of Arts (SIA).

Fitzalan Square as it looks today

Sheffield Council is now seeking to upgrade the route from the square along Pond Street to Brown Street and Paternoster Row in the Cultural Industries Quarter, which is home to the Showroom Cinema and Sheffield Hallam’s Student Union building.

The small shops at the top of Esperanto Place would be replaced with a landscaped accessible ramp, restoring the square’s historic link with Norfolk Street.

New seating and space for events would also be created, along with safer walking and cycling routes to the city centre and train station.

The council intends to bid for money from the Sheffield City Region Investment Fund towards the work, which it hopes will help kick-start development of Sheaf Square and the former Nelson Mandela building site, among other locations.

Should the plans get the go-ahead, work is expected to begin later this year and take around 12 months to complete.

Public consultation will take place at the SIA café from February 13-18 and at the Site Gallery café from February 21-25.