Focus on Gleadless Valley: What's happening?

Steve Rundell, chief executive of Reach South Sheffield
Steve Rundell, chief executive of Reach South Sheffield
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It’s home to 21,000 residents, ancient woodland and some of the steepest hills in Sheffield. Gleadless Valley is one of the most deprived wards in the city but now the council hopes to transform the area.

Its residents have some of the best views in the city but many feel that Gleadless Valley has been overlooked by the council.

Now work is underway on a masterplan which will look at transforming the area. Crucially, there is no money yet to actually do any work but Sheffield Council has received a government grant to create the masterplan.

In 1955 work began on Gleadless Valley housing estate. Sheffield Council bought up farmland and over the next seven years built homes for 17,000 people.

The neighbourhood now has a mix of maisonettes, tower blocks, elderly complexes and traditional semis and housing is still seen a crucial to revitalising the area.

Reach South Sheffield, a charity based on Blackstock Road, helps local people gain skills, secure employment, promotes healthier lifestyle choices and works to reduce isolation.

Steve Rundell, chief executive of Reach, said: “Improving the housing stock is really important. Eight to ten years ago the council and Sheffield Homes did a lot improvements but in spite of that, there is still a lot of poor quality housing. Some of it is just cosmetic but a lot of maisonettes have stairs which are no good for older people,

“There also definitely needs to be improvements to the green environment. We have a huge amount of green spaces with an ancient woodland and meadow but they are not looked after. There is no sense of ownership from local people and there is fly tipping.”

Steve says people are at the heart of Gleadless Valley and the masterplan must look at social activities and isolation along with bricks and mortar.

“For me, one thing that has been missed is the range of activities that we need in the community to cater for an aging population as well as young people,” he said.

“There’s not a huge amount to do here. In order to tackle the real issues with isolation and loneliness we need to a lot more happening to pull people out of their homes. We need more activities that promote health and wellbeing.”