21 November 2019

Future High Street Fund

A bid made by Sheffield City Council and supported by the University of Sheffield has been successful in the first round of applications to secure funding for improvements to Sheffield’s historic High Street and Fargate.

Artist's impression of redeveloped Fargate

The expression of interest submitted earlier this year was based on complimenting the success of the emerging £480m Heart of the City II development and ongoing investment on The Moor. Work is now under way to complete a business case to bid (in Spring 2020) for up to £25m from the government’s Future High Streets Fund.

The government's £1bn Future High Streets Fund aims to transform and regenerate high streets across England, making them fit for the future. It will help revitalise local high streets and boost economic buoyancy in town centres where people live, shop, use services, and spend their leisure time.

Following discussions with wide ranging stakeholders, Sheffield City Council and the University of Sheffield are now presenting draft proposals for the bid to gather support for a future vision for Fargate and High Street. The survey will help build an accurate picture of how people view and use Fargate and the High Street now, and what they wish to see included in plans for the future. The survey can be accessed here and closes on 8th December.

Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Director of City and Culture, at the University of Sheffield, said “The team has been very pleased to contribute to the development of the Future High Streets Fund bid. The workshops undertaken have gained insights from over 120 stakeholders.

"Dr Bobby Nisha and a team of students from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning helped develop a virtual reality experience where Sheffielders will get the chance to feel what it might be like to walk around in a revived Fargate. I am hopeful of a fantastic outcome for the service.”

Professor Vanessa Toulmin

Director of City and Culture, University of Sheffield

University academics used their expertise and research to input into the bid alongside other stakeholders. Professor Vanessa Toulmin (Director of City and Culture), Professor Malcom Tait (Professor of Planning) and Dr Julian Dobson led a team of academics who each attend a planning workshop to give insight into the plans.

You can also hear Professor Vanessa Toulmin speak about the bid on Radio Sheffield, item starts at 22:32.

To kick this off a public event was hosted by the University of Sheffield on Tuesday 19th November in the Cadman room, Millennium Galleries where over 200 members of the public attended. There was a virtual reality exhibition, visuals of some of the plans and the opportunity to talk to some of the team about plans and next steps.

There will be a further opportunity to see the plans at an exhibition which will be hosted at The Moor Markets taking place on Monday 25th November from 10 - 4pm.

Sheffield City Council Director of City Centre Development, Nalin Seneviratne said: “We are thrilled to be undertaking the next stage in the bidding process and we are well under way to building a strong business case to support the £25m bid to revitalise the historic city centre but we need Sheffielders' help!

“We are really keen to get the public’s perspective of how people use the city centre. We want people to tell us their experiences of how they live, work, shop and enjoy the space currently so we can put forward the best case to fit the needs of future city centre users.”

Nalin added “If successful, the financial boost for the historic heart of the city will help shape the future of how we use this space and to realise the ambitions for a thriving city. We are confident that the huge progress we have already made to develop new vibrancy in this part of the city centre will stand us in good stead and, if successful, the Future High Streets Fund will help us to do even more.”

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