Fargate could be set for a new lease of life

A team of business leaders have revealed plans to rejuvenate Fargate in the Sheffield city centre, promising to make it into a “force to be reckoned with”.

A summer consultation will set out plans for a new identity for the street and neighbouring High Street which includes improved public spaces, kiosks and seated areas, and a new emphasis on entertainment and city centre living, alongside its established shops and retail outlets.

The council will consult with owners on Fargate and the surrounding streets in partnership with the Sheffield BID, upgrade the public realm as funding allows and review the management and design of shop fronts. It will also allow more restaurant uses with defined outdoor seating areas and encourage the use of the upper floors for a mixture of residential, commercial, community and health-based (dentist, GP etc) uses through a review of policy, improved seating and work with the city’s universities on exciting new public spaces.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment at Sheffield city council, said: “We are committed to giving Fargate a new sense of purpose as the gateway to our excellent and transformative Heart Of The City II scheme. We want Fargate to be a force to be reckoned with. You can’t hide from the fact that Fargate is changing, and, that it faces challenges. But by uniting behind this draft vision we can see the green shoots of recovery on this historic street.

“It is so important that we have signed up to this joint commitment to improving the street. We are one city centre, and it’s crucial that, as the Moor and Heart Of The City develop new identities, that Fargate can do the same. We also want people across the city to have their say about how Fargate develops so we can create a street that works for us all.”

Diane Jarvis, chief executive of Sheffield BID, added: “Through discussion with businesses and other stakeholders, Sheffield BID has been looking at ways to address commercial and physical challenges in creating the right environment to attract new operators.

“We have learned a lot about the potential and opportunity for Fargate and the surrounding area. We look forward to working in partnership to create a shared vision to the benefit of all, but it’s vital this vision is delivered quickly to boost the vibrancy of Fargate and its feeder streets. We need to act fast to engage visitors and attract investment as part of the wider transformation of Sheffield city centre.

“During the crucial festive trading period, Sheffield BID enhanced the city centre’s Christmas offer by delivering the Sheffield Christmas Trail, which brought thousands of extra visitors to retailers on Fargate, High Street and Chapel Walk.”

The draft vision is set to be endorsed by cabinet in the summer following a period of public consultation.

Image credit: Sheffield city council

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