Shoppers deliver their verdict over future of Sheffield's Fargate
Star readers have been sharing their wish list for the future of Fargate – after property experts said the shopping precinct needs to re-brand itself to have a long-term future.
Fargate has been renowned for decades as Sheffield's key shopping hub, but there has been a recent shift in retail with a number of shops closing and relocating to the burgeoning Moor area.
The Sheffield Property Association, a group of individuals and organisations with a key interest in land ownership and development, said it is time the area finds a new identity in order to survive and thrive.
A number of Star readers have now taken to Facebook to express their views over the future of Fargate.
Kirsty Calton posted: “The whole of Fargate needs a face lift and new shops pulling in.”
Ian Andrews-Careless believes the “town centre is just terrible compared to the rest.”
Kathy Price added: “There also needs to be some leisure facilities to entertain families.”
Next and H&M have either closed or are due to be closing their Fargate outlets to move into new premises at the ever-expanding Moor.
Meanwhile, it has recently been revealed that River Island could soon be set to be replaced by Metro Bank.
But council leaders have talked about rebooting Fargate with café terraces, bars and restaurants.
Members of the Sheffield Property Association are optimistic that the authority’s vision to make Fargate a ‘force to be reckoned with’ again is very much a possibility.
Martin McKervey, chair of the group, said: “Fargate will have an incredibly bright future if landlords come together and work with the council and city centre business improvement district (BID) to create an attractive and vibrant place to visit, grab a bite to eat and enjoy a drink in the sun.
“Retail has changed for ever. Fargate needs to celebrate and promotes its local character, distinctiveness and its contribution to the local economy.”
Matt Summerhill, an executive member of the association, agreed that adjusting how Fargate sells itself would ensure it has a long-term future.
He said: “Fargate could be fantastic as a leisure destination, to link the theatres around Tudor Square with the high-end leisure in Leopold Square and City Hall area.
“Some of the architecture along Fargate is stunning. Fargate could be hugely attractive to good quality leisure occupiers making the area a destination throughout the day and late into the evening.”