‘Festive-themed makeover’ for empty city centre unit
As part of plans to help deliver a vibrant and attractive city centre in the run up to Christmas, Sheffield Business Improvement District (BID) is working behind the scenes to transform a currently empty unit into a new pop-up visitor attraction.
Santa’s Study, one element of the BID’s wider Sheffield Christmas Trail programme, will be located in Orchard Square occupying premises that were previously the home of Schuh.
The unit, which has stood empty since spring 2021, is being given a new lease of life for the festive season thanks to this new family-friendly attraction.
Diane Jarvis, Head of Business Operations at Sheffield BID, said: “We’re delighted to be adding something really special to the city centre’s festive plans this year and we’re sure that Santa’s Study will prove to be a big hit with visitors.
“It’s important the city centre offers something magical to encourage families to visit. Santa’s Study will deliver a city centre attraction with a real wow factor.”
Children and their families will enter this free and fully immersive festive experience through an enchanted forest to reveal a fun, playful space with lots of funny details waiting to be discovered in Santa’s warm and cosy study. A team of Santa’s playful elves will be on hand to offer a festive welcome and provide children with everything they need to write their letters to Santa Claus.
Diane added: “It’s great to be able to repurpose empty retail space into a festive visitor destination in collaboration with two local Sheffield artists Ruby Fox and Ruthie Ford.
“We’re also grateful to Orchard Square for helping to make this possible. We’re really looking forward to welcoming visitors and hope Santa’s Study will provide a real boost to local businesses in helping to drive footfall, dwell time and spend into the city centre.
“Many people are being impacted by the cost of living, so it’s important to deliver free and inclusive activities that encourage people to visit Sheffield city centre this Christmas.
“We hope that our contribution to what is already shaping up to be a strong festive programme across the city centre will enhance the city’s Christmas offer this year.”
Shay Murray, Centre Manager, Orchard Square, said: “Orchard Square is proud to be part of the Sheffield Christmas Trail programme this year, hosting Santa’s Study and in doing so supporting this city centre initiative.
“As a team we are constantly looking to create new and exciting environments to match customer expectations and attract new visitors to the city.
“This festive partnership with the BID, offering families a fun, free and fully immersive Christmas experience, gives us the perfect opportunity to do just that, and support our city centre retailers and businesses as a result.
“We very much look forward to welcoming visitors soon!”
Santa’s Study opens its doors to the public at 10am on Saturday, 26 November. The Study will be open every Saturday, Sunday and Thursday before opening daily from Monday, 19 December right through until 4pm on Christmas Eve.
At other times it will be used for private events.
Visit the Sheffield Christmas Trail website for full opening times and additional visitor information.