Celebrating the transformation of our campus at special event

On Monday 23 October, along with Sheffield City Council and Sheffield City Region, we marked the redevelopment of some of the major public spaces around the University’s campus at a special event.


Our University, along with Sheffield City Council, oversaw the transformation of Leavygreave Road and Portobello into a stunning public space. Safe routes for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as seats and open air working areas with lots of new planting were implemented, with a funding contribution of £2.9 million from Sheffield City Region Investment Fund.

The project has also created more spacious and safer crossings on Western Bank and Upper Hanover Street, making it much easier for students, staff and the general public to get around the campus, catch a tram or access the city centre. The cycle and pedestrian routes are an extension of the City Council’s ‘gold route’ from the railway station through the city centre and now up to the University campus.

A prominent feature of the transformation is the arrival of five high-finish concrete ‘planter tables’ and seating designed by local artist David Appleyard. Every table accommodates lush planting and trees and is decorated with a trio of brass bottles, modelled on those of the famous Henderson’s Relish, with each featuring a unique engraved label which reflects an element of the area’s long and varied history.


Our University Wind Orchestra provided the musical entertainment during the launch event. To coincide with the event, a quiz has been launched challenging people to identify what event, person, creature or thing each bottle label refers to and its connection to the street and the University. You can download a copy of the quiz here.

Keith Lilley, Director of Estates and Facilities Management and IT said:

“This has been a complex project involving significant changes over many months and we’re grateful to everyone for their patience while the work has been under way.

"We are absolutely delighted with the results. Our ambition is to open up our campus to the rest of the city, to make everyone feel welcome and safe, and this project has enabled us to take a major step forward in achieving that ambition."

“We want to encourage the people of Sheffield to enjoy and use our campus whether it’s to have lunch in one of our cafes, cycle through the campus area up to Weston Park, or just enjoy sitting and relaxing in one of the new greener, safer places that has been created through this development.”

Councillor Bryan Lodge, Cabinet member for environment and street scene at Sheffield City Council, said:

“We’ve been very impressed with the improvements which better link the University to the city centre and also promote alternative uses of transport. We now have the city’s first purpose-built cycle crossing which points the way to better connectivity for cyclists and an impressive public realm scheme complete with distinctive artwork celebrating the very best of Sheffield."

Sir Nigel Knowles, Chair of the Sheffield City Region’s business arm, the Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

“We know that this region is blessed with a great quality of life and this public realm, which the City Region has helped to fund, is a splendid example of the importance of attractive city centres and being able to enjoy getting round them.

"It’s vital that as more and more businesses invest and grow in the region, they and our other major organisations like the universities know that their staff and students can be safe in their working environment.”