Sheffield news LIVE: Iconic music venues at risk of closure and council rules out South Yorkshire town being forced into local lockdown

Welcome to The Star’s live blog on Wednesday, July 1.

Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 3:31 pm

We will be bringing you a round-up of all of the news and live traffic and travel information for Sheffield and South Yorkshire, as well as the biggest national news stories.

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Both The Leadmill and Corporation are at risk of closure

Sheffield news LIVE: Iconic music venues at risk of closure and council rules out South Yorkshire town being forced into local lockdown

Last updated: Wednesday, 01 July, 2020, 15:44


  • Leadmill, Corporation and Abbeydale Picture House at risk of closure as lockdown decimates music industry
  • Resident’s fury after Sheffield neighbourhood left covered in rubbish
  • Tributes paid  to ‘adored’ mum killed in Firth Park attack 
  • 'Increased police presence’ on Sheffield estate after guns fired on TWO streets in space of eight minutes
  • Easy Jet and Ryanair ramp up flight schedules
  • Two South Yorkshire towns could be among next areas forced into ‘local lockdown’
  • The search for a missing man, 65, who was last seen on Monday is continuing today
  • Wizz Air resume flights from Doncaster Sheffield Airport
  • Up to 5,000 jobs at SSP, owner of Upper Crust and Caffe Ritazza



The Leadmill, Corporation and Abbeydale Picture House have been put on the at risk register by the Music Venue Trust, a charity which represents hundreds of grassroots venues.

Abbeydale Picture House is one of the venues said to be at risk of closure

The Leadmill has warned the entire arts sector is "on a cliff edge" and says it has zero income coming in. Corporation hasn't been able to claim any grants and also has no income.

Both venues have furloughed staff but are worried about how they will top up wages once the scheme ends in August. And both say it will be spring 2021 at the earliest before any live acts can return.

Read the full story here

Traffic alert: Delays in and out of Sheffield city centre

Sheaf Street is particularly congested this afternoon, with The AA also reporting on Arundel Gate , Surrey Street and Norfolk Street in the city centre. 

There are also delays on Furnival Road, Broad Street and Bernard Street. 

Council rules out ‘local lockdown’ similar to that forced upon Leicester

Barnsley Council has ruled out a lockdown similar to Leicester as figures revealed it has one of the highest rates of Covid-19 infection in England.

Latest data shows the South Yorkshire town has 54.7 cases per 100,000 population, the third highest in England.

Sir Steve Houghton

In a joint statement, the council's director for public health Julia Burrows and leader councillor Sir Steve Houghton said: "The number of cases is Barnsley is higher than the national average. We are seeing transmission in the community across the borough, and like many places across the country have had clusters and outbreaks in a handful of care homes, schools and workplaces, as we expected would happen."

They added there had been two "key" issues: "Firstly, throughout the course of the outbreak we have seen higher rates of coronavirus locally than the national average. This is related to some natural variation in the disease; our proactive and targeted testing; our higher density of care homes; and our local population, which is older than the national average and has higher rates of underlying diseases and other Covid-19 risk factors such as smoking.

"Secondly, we have seen a much slower reduction than the national average, such that daily cases levelled off through May and June, instead of continuing to reduce. This has been largely due to local clusters of cases including in a few care homes and workplaces."

They said the clusters have "started to ease thanks to local control measures and we are seeing the early signs of a return to the reduction in daily cases", which means "we do not believe at this stage any further measures will need to be implemented such as the ones seen in Leicester".

Street in Sheffield suburb crowned one of UK’s ‘coolest neighbourhoods’ left covered in rubbish

Shocking pictures taken by a concerned resident on Sharrow Vale Road show food waste dumped on parked cars, split bin bags and rubbish strewn down the street.

Sharrow Vale Road

The resident who has lived in the suburb for nine years and wishes to remain anonymous, said he has seen underwear, rats, toilet roll, rotting food on the street over the years.

He said overflowing rubbish and litter has always been a problem in the neighbourhood but it is now escalating.

This is why a police helicopter has been seen in Sheffield

Police are growing increasingly concerned for the safety of Lewis Wigley who went missing earlier this week.

This morning, South Yorkshire Police's helicopter has been in the skies over the city hunting for Mr Wigley in the Abbeydale Road and Millhouses Park area.

Lewis, 64, was last seen at around 6pm on Monday evening at his home address in the Edgedale Road area of Sheffield.

Easy Jet and Ryanair ramp up flight schedules

Airlines have ramped up their flight schedules in a bid to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 1,000 flights per day are being operated by Ryanair, which has run a skeleton schedule since mid-March.

It is restoring almost 90% of its route network but frequencies are lower than normal, with just 40% of its normal July capacity.

A Ryanair flight to Malaga, Spain, on Wednesday afternoon will be the first departure from Southend Airport in three months.

Ryanair and Easy Jet have ramped up their flight schedules

EasyJet is running around 500 flights each day across Europe, including more than 900 a week to and from the UK.

It restarted a small number of flights on June 15 after all its aircraft were grounded in March.

Both airlines require passengers to wear face masks or coverings as part of enhanced safety and hygiene measures.

British Airways has said it will make a "meaningful return" to service this month.

‘Increased police presence’ on Sheffield estate after guns fired on TWO streets

An investigation has been launched after gunshots were reportedly fired on two streets in the Arbourthorne area of Sheffield last night.

A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police said: “Police were called to Errington Avenue shortly before 9.45pm after reports of a firearms discharge.

Aylward Road in Sheffield

“A short time later, at 9.53pm, a call was received reporting that shots had been fired on Aylward Road in Sheffield.

“Police are treating the two incidents as linked. There will be an increased police presence in the area today as enquiries continue. Anyone with concerns is encouraged to speak to our officers in the community or call 101.”

Click here for live updates from the scene of the double shooting. 

Tributes paid to ‘much adored’ mum killed in Firth Park attack

Kimberley Smith, known as Kimmy, was found unconscious and unresponsive after ambulance crews were called to an address in Pavilion Way, Firth Park, at 8.25am on Friday, June 26.

The 35-year-old was taken to hospital but could not be saved and died later that afternoon.

Kimberley’s childhood friend, Jo Rebecca, added: “Such a beautiful soul you was inside and out. Sending my love to your family. You will be missed dearly.

Kimberley Smith

“I wish I wasn't writing this right now. Fly high you beautiful woman. Never forget our memories we had.”

A 22-year-old Sheffield man remains on police bail after being arrested on suspicion of murder.

Two South Yorkshire towns could be among next areas forced into ‘local lockdown’

A PHE regional map for testing across England shows the towns and cities suffering high numbers of cases.

The data covers all mass testing in England, including that carried out in NHS and PHE labs (known as pillar one), plus all community testing, drive-throughs and tests sent to people's homes (pillar two).

The map shows that the worst affected regions (with at least 45 cases per 100,000 people in the week to June 21) are Leicester - which went into further lockdown yesterday  Barnsley, Bradford and Rochdale. 

There are six areas in the next worst affected category (30-44.9 cases per 100,000), which are Bedford, Blackburn with Darwen, Tameside, Oldham, Kirklees and Rotherham.

And Dr Andrew Lee, a reader of Public Health at Sheffield University, said that while Sheffield had a higher infection rate than Leicester he did not believe the city was at risk of having a local lockdown forced upon it

Rotherham (top) and Barnsley (bottom) are both at risk of going into local lockdown

Prof Ferguson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the UK was not over the worst and said the country was "relatively blind" in late February and early March over how much infection there was in the community.

"We were, in retrospect, one of the most heavily seeded countries with infection in Europe," he said.

"I would say, before we make international comparisons though, just bear in mind we are still very early into this pandemic - there's a bit of an illusion out there that somehow we are past the worst.

"In this country we've probably had no more than 8% of the population infected.

"This is far from over, so I think lessons can be learned from what happened in the UK up to now, but I would prefer to focus on getting the next six months right before looking back in earnest.

"It's inevitable we will (have further local outbreaks), we are relaxing lockdown rules and that means that contacts in the population are going up and that's a very variable process."

Prof Ferguson said there is a window of a few weeks to resolve "teething problems" in how data is shared, to have systems up and running for the scheduled full return of schools in September in England.

Up to 5,000 jobs at risk at SSP, owner of Upper Crust and Caffe Ritazza

Up to around 5,000 jobs are under threat at Upper Crust and Caffe Ritazza owner SSP amid a shake-up following plunging passengers numbers at railway stations and airports due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The group warned it expects to open only around a fifth of its sites in the UK by the autumn as travel is set to remain at very low levels amid the Covid-19 crisis.

It has launched a consultation on a restructure to "simplify and reshape" the business in the face of the pandemic, which it said could lead to more than half of its 9,000-strong peak season workforce being axed.

Sheffield railway station

There is a branch of both Upper Crust and Caffe Ritazza at Sheffield railway station. 

The group said head office and UK staff would be affected by the cuts.

Chief executive Simon Smith said: "In the UK the pace of the recovery continues to be slow.

"In response to this, we are now taking further action to protect the business and create the right base from which to rebuild our operations.

"Regrettably, we are starting a collective consultation which will affect our UK colleagues.

"These are extremely difficult decisions, and our main priority will be to conduct the process carefully and fairly."

SSP has around 570 sites across 130 airport and railway stations in the UK and Ireland, but also has operations in 35 countries worldwide."

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