Sheffield City Council is showcasing new proposals for Pound’s Park, a landmark new public space within the Heart of the City scheme, which continues the city centre’s move towards a greener, more sustainable and people-focused destination.

Named after Sheffield’s first Chief Fire Officer, Superintendent John Charles Pound, Pound’s Park would be located on the former fire station site between Rockingham Street, Wellington Street and Carver Street.

In 2018, the site was originally earmarked for a multi-storey car park, hotel and over 150,000 sq ft of office space. However, a forward-thinking change in approach has led the Council to update its plans to create something entirely more bespoke to Sheffield – a large urban park that closely aligns to the city’s evolving sustainable transport and environmental ambitions – alongside two new smaller development plots.

The Council will be inviting interest later this year from private developers to take forward the two smaller development plots – located on the north and south boundaries of the site.

Pound’s Park is partly funded by The Transforming Cities Fund (TCF), funding that was bid for and won by Sheffield City Region from the Department for Transport, and the Getting Building Fund.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment at Sheffield City Council, said: “We are very excited and proud to unveil these latest plans for Heart of the City.

“The scheme is transforming Sheffield city centre, creating new places to live, work, shop and socialise. Alongside the new and repurposed buildings, we understand the importance of introducing more attractive outdoor spaces for everyone to enjoy.

“Pound’s Park will be a beautifully designed public space of real quality – one of the most significant city centre parks in the country. It will provide a new focal point for families, prioritise waking and cycling over cars, and help improve both the physical and mental wellbeing of city centre visitors, workers and residents.”

The park would provide a short and highly accessible link between the planned new area of bus stops on Rockingham Street, which was part of the recently announced Connecting Sheffield proposals, and the wider city centre. A straight walk of around 200 paces will take people from the bus stops to the back of John Lewis. The area on and around Rockingham Street would be transformed into a safe and well-lit space with footfall and activity well into the evening.

In addition to improving the public spaces, the Council is keen for Sheffield to set a new benchmark in city centre walking and cycling infrastructure – to help encourage more sustainable and environmentally-conscious modes of transport.

Although not part of this planning application, a large cycle hub is currently being planned at the southern side of Pound’s Park, as part of the modernisation of the Wellington Street car park at Telephone House.

Councillor Julie Grocutt, Cabinet Member for Transport and Development at Sheffield City Council added: “In Sheffield we have developed a truly distinctive and high-quality public realm in the city centre, through our Grey to Green scheme and in areas such as Charter Square.

“Pound’s Park will see a continuation of this quality, helping us to create a strong sense of character and connection across the whole city centre. Trees and planting will remain a key feature, being used extensively to provide colour and seasonal interest, increase biodiversity, and provide sustainable management of rainwater.

“Our plans are ambitious and will reinvent the expectations of a city park, with a special focus on incorporating a multitude of experiences for playing, relaxation and socialising.”

Chief Fire Officer at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, Alex Johnson, said: “I know that our old headquarters on Wellington Street were a much loved place of work for many current and former members of staff and it feels fitting for this proposed green space to retain some connection with its past by being named in this way. The fire and rescue service is also rightly proud of its long and illustrious heritage and we would feel honoured for the park to be named after the city’s first Chief Fire Officer.”

The new public amenity will also provide an accessible new home for the William Mitchell frieze, which was removed from Burgess House last year in preparation for the construction of the new Radisson Blu hotel on Pinstone Street. This prominent new location will help celebrate the frieze and allow for it to be enjoyed by more people.

A public consultation on Pound’s Park will invite local people to view the proposals in more detail and contribute feedback prior to the Council submitting its planning application. Details of how to take part in the consultation will be shared on Sheffield City Council and Heart of the City social media channels.