John Lewis Sheffield: City residents have their say on global brand’s £100m plan for John Lewis building

Yesterday it was revealed that a global brand has drawn up a multi-million pound plan for a ‘home of football’ in Sheffield’s iconic John Lewis building.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 2:24 pm

It goes without saying that there were – and continue to be – plenty of thoughts and opinions about a purported £100m ‘Sheffield Rules’ centre-piece, comprising of a football centre, a stunning redesign and museum that takes into account Sheffield’s footballing history and the part that the city has played in shaping the beautiful game as we know it.

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Global sports brand bids for £100m football centre in Sheffield's John Lewis bui...

This huge project is intent on placing the heart of football right in the ‘Heart of the City’, inhabiting the no-longer-in-use John Lewis building while also creating over 200 jobs in the process. But that’s not all, it will also bring have-a-go football experiences, community pitches on the roof, and bars and restaurants on the ground floor. Once the story broke, plenty of Sheffield residents had something to say and we’ve gathered a few of their thoughts right here.

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The old John Lewis building in Sheffield city centre would be revamped with ‘football architecture’ including a central column like a halfway line and a tunnel leading to the roof under plans to turn it into a new football centre

There were a number of people who are all for the design plans.

Case in point being Dino Paffiossi (known as @Dino S12 on Twitter), who said: “Fantastic idea should have been done by the council year's ago. It should also include Sheffield FC the oldest club in the world. Nice one.”

Reece Davies thinks that it’s a “brilliant idea” and added: “About time Sheffield started bragging about being the home of Football. Should be singing it from the rooftops and with this idea, will literally be doing that. Just hope the council go along with it.”

Another who was all in on the idea was Scott Murray, who wrote: “Now that's something blue and red can both get behind. It would be fantastic for the city.”

A number of other replies supported the idea, Andy McElwaine responded, saying that it “should have been done years ago.”

He added: “The nation’s football museum should have been in Sheffield but our council couldn’t be bothered to push forward the idea. Hope it works.”

His thoughts were echoed by Richard aka RichYorks, who said that the plans were simply “brilliant”.

He added: Whoever thought of the name had a moment of genius.”

Not all responses were as euphoric with some replies being hopeful, if a little tempered.

Peter Nelson replied, saying that it all “sounds promising, but so did the plans for the new sports complex at Parkwood Springs, hopefully the company behind this proposal are serious.”

His comments were responded to by our business editor, David Walsh, who noted that in that instance “the council pulled the plug on the developer there.”

Some of the respondents were not quite buying the idea, with Laura IH Bennett saying: “Ooof. No thanks. Seems a bit pathetic to ‘hope that a family from Manchester will come for the day’. They're not going to bother, they've got their own football museum.”

Her scepticism was echoed by Pott_Shrigley_on Twitter, who pointed out another expensive flop in the city.

“Remember the National Centre for Popular Music? This would go the same way,” he said.

Peter Johnson, on the other hand ,was quite clear in his distrust of any such project.

“And then the 'unknown global brand' will probably own prime city centre land alongside some cheapo city (pronounce the 'c' like 'sh') living flats in the very heart of town. Don't do it Sheff! This is good like the recent takeover of Newcastle FC,” he said.

WASPI_woman on Twitter was not taken in by the idea, at all.

“Which individual kids are going to play with unknown kids of all ages on a football pitch on the roof? Where are the football ‘stars’ going to come from to be there at a weekend? Retired and unknown to the kids they are supposed to appeal to,” she asked.

Paul Bearer, added his thoughts on the project, sharing his belief that “this is that good an idea and something that could give the city a much needed boost that the council are bound to reject it.”

Andy May wasn’t so sure though, saying: “Hope they don't mate.”

It wasn’t all doom and gloom in the end though, Sam Eyre expressed his optimism for the project with a large dose of reality in his take.

“This is a fantastic idea however I feel the architectural changes may not be allowed by historic England as it is a grade 2 listed building,” he said.

But what about you Sheffielders, what do you think? Good idea, bad, idea, great idea or something completely different? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter or Facebook.