From the renovation of Sheffield City Polytechnic into Sheffield Hallam University in 1992, to the redevelopment of Kelham Island last year, the city of Sheffield is constantly reinventing itself to keep up with modern times.
These projects have been turned up a notch in the past few years, with the aim of turning the Steel City into an up and coming place to live, work and run a business.
One of the most noticeable of these improvements has been to the heart of the city centre, The Moor.
Until recent years, The Moor was run-down, and in much need of some modernisation – and that’s exactly what it has got. It is almost unrecognisable now from its past self as renovation has greatly increased the shopping area not only in style, but also in substance.
The developments to The Moor were split into three different stages, increasing footfall through the city centre, but also transforming the area into a more vibrant and attractive destination. A recorded 11.2 million people visited The Moor last year – an increase in footfall of nearly a quarter (22%) on 2016.
The first phase of development began back in 2013, when Castle Market was relocated to and replaced by The Moor Market after 54 years of trading. This change transformed what used to be a typical market square into a thriving indoor scene, housing 90 independent traders. Described as a haven for food lovers, Moor Market is home to four fishmongers, ten butchers, as well as fruit and veg stalls, cakes, cheeses and teas all under one roof.
It is also home to 12 cafes and take-aways ranging from Hungry Buddha – traditional Nepalese foods and Thali – to old-fashioned, hearty British fare like Sharon’s Café and Karen’s Kitchen. Bitz and Bites offers gluten free options, as well as a vegetarian and a vegan range while those in a hurry can grab a quick bite from the waffles and pancakes made to order by Crepes n Go.
The popular Beer Central is there for top-quality bottles and cans of craft beer, real ale and cider, as well as mini kegs, beer glasses and items such as T-shirts and real ale guides. As well as local best sellers (think Bradfield Farmer’s Blonde, Kelham Island Pride of Sheffield and Thornbridge Jaipur) Beer Central stocks unusual and hard to get beers, released on a seasonal basis by many of the world’s top breweries.
Alongside the food, drink and dining offerings are vintage stores, a haberdashery, jewellery, clothing, cobblers, electrical and DIY, and pet accessories …
The relocation of the market from the Castlegate area to The Moor was part of the city’s plan to strengthen Sheffield’s central core shopping area. Costing £18m, the Moor Market has been a positive addition to the city, with the well-designed and modern shops becoming a sign of new and exciting things to come.
The second phase of Sheffield’s expansion saw leading clothing company Primark move from Castle Square into a striking new 80,000sq ft store in the heart of The Moor. This location change was followed by Specsavers, who moved from the previous building on Pinstone Street into a new home on The Moor. The trend has shifted, with big brand stores now moving from the outskirts of the city centre, wanting to be localised in the renovated middle that is The Moor.
This renovation continued in Easter of 2017, with the new £8 million cinema complex ‘The Light’ being completed.
The luxury nine screen cinema complex has completely transformed what used to be one of the more decrepit sections of the city into a modern place to eat, drink and watch films. The Light is located above Primark, and the complex houses four restaurants – Zizzi’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Pizza Express and Nando’s. The cinema also offers a range of local food and drink, including Our Cow Molly ice cream and Kelham Island Brewery drinks.
With just three slots left to fill in phase two, eyes now turn to the third phase of developments on The Moor, which are expected to be completed in 2019. These plans are set to bring in several high-profile brands, with the shopping parade’s owner Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) recently confirming that high street clothing store Next would be relocating from Fargate to a 42,000 sq. ft. shop on the site of the former BHS.
Along with Next, both H&M and New Look are relocating, too, taking up a combined 52,000 sq. ft. of space on The Moor, with H&M replacing the former McDonalds, and New Look taking over at what was Woolworths.
Phase three will also see clothing retailer GAP open its latest branch beneath the Light Cinema after moving from Pinstone Street, and bowling alley ‘Lane 7’, bringing with it not only bowling, but a range of retro arcade games, karaoke, ping pong, pool and a bar.
However not all the new additions have been revealed, with ASI announcing that a further leisure outlet will be added to The Moor in phase three … but the identity is yet to be announced.
Settling in nicely to a new home by The Moor is one of Sheffield’s leading and best-known businesses. Westfield Health moved to the new headquarters in the former Milton House on Charter Row late last year, dubbing the building a ‘hub for health and wellbeing’ in the heart of the city.
Named Westfield House, the eight-storey building includes incubator spaces, a business lounge with dedicated meeting rooms, and a roof terrace with 360-degree views overlooking the city. The move to Westfield House has cemented the firm’s commitment to Sheffield’s emerging new-look city centre, especially with the developments happening on their actual doorstep on The Moor.
Recent developments will be enhanced by the plans to revamp the area between The Peace Gardens and The Moor, transforming it into the long-awaited Sheffield Retail Quarter.
Following the initial green light for the £90m Sheffield Retail Quarter back in July of last year, further retail plans are set to be approved to bring the area up to an astounding 900,000 sq ft. This area will include 200,000 sq ft of offices and residential, located in between shops, restaurants and public spaces.
These plans are following on from the news that banking giant HSBC has agreed a move to new Sheffield city centre offices, a move which secures almost 3,000 local jobs and paves the way for the start of the Sheffield Retail Quarter project.
As well as the retail and leisure plans, the renovation of the area between the Peace Gardens and The Moor will bring new city centre homes and centrally located offices, which will attract new residents and bring more businesses into the city centre.
Plans are also now being drawn up that include extending the Fargate shopping destination, creating stronger links between the Peace Gardens and Pinstone street, which will also enhance the links with The Moor.
With current renovations, future ones planned and progress with the Retail Quarter, Sheffield’s reputation as a retail destination is being boosted every day and The Moor looks set to continue to play a part in that burgeoning status.