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'Everything’s leaving': Sheffield's town centre gutted by vacancies

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it aint rocket science this is it /1960s/ 1970s/80s / people working steel works busy low shop rents win win fast forward 2019 , no steel works/, meadowhall/ internet /part time,  jobs sky high shop rents 

HELLO 

Edited by craig12

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7 minutes ago, ads36 said:

It *can* thrive if it embraces the things that make it different.

 

theatres, public spaces, independent shops, people working and living nearby/same street/same building,  centre of the transport network, history, character, etc.

 

City centres need to become a destination in their own right : tourism basically, somewhere you'd recommend to a friend for a weekend away.

 

example : Delft, I thoroughly recommend a long weekend in Delft. It's a lovely place - does it have free parking? I don't know and I don't care.

 

example : Richmond, North Yorkshire. I thoroughly recommend a long weekend in Richmond, there's a great market, and a lovely theatre. But does it have free parking? I don't know and I don't care.

 

Freiburg (Germany) :  etc. It's a great place. 

 

etc.

 

Sheffield? can and should present itself as a unique, entertaining  destination. That's how city centres will survive. Not with free parking and a Woolworths.

Everything is leaving Sheffield is the  topic, ie shop vacancies. That is what I am referring to.  :huh:

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I can remember Sheffield town centre bustling with people , shops packed , market rammed , £££££££  , now its a ghost town you wouldn't walk through , flatten it and put houses on it 

I went to leeds a few months ago , now theres a city they can be proud of , loads of cash invested by its council , 

Edited by craig12

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22 minutes ago, ads36 said:

It *can* thrive if it embraces the things that make it different.

 

theatres, public spaces, independent shops, people working and living nearby/same street/same building,  centre of the transport network, history, character, etc.

 

City centres need to become a destination in their own right : tourism basically, somewhere you'd recommend to a friend for a weekend away.

 

example : Delft, I thoroughly recommend a long weekend in Delft. It's a lovely place - does it have free parking? I don't know and I don't care.

 

example : Richmond, North Yorkshire. I thoroughly recommend a long weekend in Richmond, there's a great market, and a lovely theatre. But does it have free parking? I don't know and I don't care.

 

Freiburg (Germany) :  etc. It's a great place. 

 

etc.

 

Sheffield? can and should present itself as a unique, entertaining  destination. That's how city centres will survive. Not with free parking and a Woolworths.

Really good post, and I totally agree.

Its not all about shopping, and no matter what people think a lot of areas around the city centre and nearby are looking really good now, with new bars and restaurants etc appearing.

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2 hours ago, kaytie said:

Manchester has  good free bus services around the city centre taking several routes. 

 

 Much has been talked about here regarding connection, or lack of,  to the tram,  but it should be borne in mind that pretty much all the west side of the city isn't served  by the tram, including the Hallamshire and Weston Park Hospitals. 

Firstly, it's a probably mistake to make a direct comparison between Sheffield and Manchester. Greater Manchester has 2.5 million people, more than twice the population of South Yorkshire. It's bigger. There are more people, there's more money. That's why it's easier for them to get tram extensions. More potential customers.

 

Manchester's free bus service is funded by developer contributions  (they all serve the Spinningfields development, who pay towards it) and advertising, see:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_buses_in_Greater_Manchester

 

Developers aren't queuing up to invest their money in Sheffield (other than perhaps for student flats) , it isn't as attractive to them as the likes of Leeds and Manchester, so we can't expect to get developers to fund nice initiatives like free buses. Manchester's cost £1.2m a year to run. The PTE have a limited budget to subsidise bus services for social needs (pretty much all the evening and weekend services are subsidised). If you want free city centre buses, some other services will need to be reduced or stopped.

 

3 hours ago, dutch said:

Current global environmental directives are to reduce car movements in cities, not to make it harder to use public transport! 

There are several brands, shops that are not represented in Sheffield. Its attractiveness is at the edge at the point it is sometimes better to go somewhere else instead.

More homes for people to live in the city is great, lots of people waiting on the streets already. Don't know about the jobs, don't think the majority of these new jobs created these days are prosperitive ones.

Who's making it harder to use public transport?

 

Yes there are brands not represented here. I was told that this is due to a lack of suitable retail units. a lot o f the units in town aren't big enough for these retailers. The redevelopment of the retail core of town was supposed to address this, but developers aren't prepared to invest, so it's getting done one part at a time.

 

The new HSBC office building will put a lot of quite well paid people right in the city centre. It will be good for business in the city centre.

 

58 minutes ago, craig12 said:

I went to leeds a few months ago , now theres a city they can be proud of , loads of cash invested by its council , 

Where have Leeds council invested cash that Sheffield haven't?

 

Don't forget that Leeds Council cast envious eyes at our tram system. They've had tries at getting a tram and a trolley bus, both unsuccessful. They're now looking at having another go.

 

Not everything in Leeds is better than here.

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Speaking of shops shutting I noticed a few more gone when I visited Worksop this week, and they haven’t got as many to lose. The small M&S, body shop (been gone while to fair) and greenhams? Greenhalls? - whichever -old man clothes shop. They won’t be the last.

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I usually go into town to visit Beer Central, Moor Market, Waterstones and Birdyard. If I have time I'll visit the museums, which are great.

 

For everything else I need I can get locally in Walkley.

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Been in Manchester for two days. I visit often but this time I have to say it wasn't exactly bustling .  Oxford road dead last night. Went to a nice food hall up in the northern quarter this morning,  very similar to the one we have at Neepsend but pretty quiet.  The big thing they have is their tram extension, it actually goes places you want it to  Stayed out at Salford Quays for 26 quid a night and trammed in.

 

Back here at 3 pm, the centre of Sheffield, even Fargate was busier than Manchester. Maybe a bit cold for them over the other side.  Possibly the students away for the semester change over?

 

As for Leeds, you've got to admit its pretty grim coming out of their station. Gone are the days when we would go up there for shopping. These days its just a drive in for gigs and get back out again. Not worth staying over.

 

Now if all these cities had a half decent rail link between them that ran past midnight they'd all benefit  from a bit of extra trade 

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On 01/02/2019 at 17:26, Longcol said:

"Countless eateries" on Fargate??

 I remember a Wimpy burger there in 1975.☺️

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13 hours ago, Planner1 said:

 

Manchester's free bus service is funded by developer contributions  (they all serve the Spinningfields development, who pay towards it) and advertising, see:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_buses_in_Greater_Manchester

 

Do you think the Sheffield BID group could, with the council and PTE, subside a “City Clipper” type route again? Doesn’t have to be free, but maybe a flat rate low charge.

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18 hours ago, PRESLEY said:

Really!  How can the city centre thrive when you have Crystal Peaks, Meadowhell and all the massive Supermarkets on the outskirts with  free parking its car freindly unlike the city centre.  Here is the big clue to the Cities demise. THE MAJORITY OF SHEFFIELDERS LIVE ON THE OUTSKIRTS. :roll:

Where are the theatre, museums, open spaces and art galleries in Meadowhall and Crystal Peaks? 

 

There's more to a city centre than car parking and shops.

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On 01/02/2019 at 21:29, alarmingmark said:

Build on the parking areas , then hike the prices on existing parking ....what you going to do ....order on the internet...city centre no thanks !

I tried suggesting on here that parking in the city centre is not easy and quite expensive, and that this is a factor as to why the city centre is in decline.  I was told by others on here that I'm wrong about that, so it's interesting that an independent report in the Guardian comes to a similar conclusion.  I suppose the Guardian columnist is wrong as well.  And those statistics are just made up.  Or maybe not?

 

There are other factors why the city is in decline of course.  The Sheffield mentality being a key one.  The Sheffield Council have been poor for decades at attracting commercial development - and the Sheffield folks don't want owt new or fancy!  They like a good bargain above all else.  Or at least, to feel they are getting a bargain.  So, "cheap" is King here in Sheffield.  And Harvey Nicks and Selfridges and the like know that.  So they don't even waste their time and money setting up here in the first place.  But even lesser brands, like the decent, but not exactly extravagant,  Russell & Bromley shoe shop, upped stumps after a while at Meadowhall because they couldn't persuade the Sheffield public to part with their cash.  

 

Solution?  

 

There isn't one.  You just have to learn to love Sheffield for what it is, because it's not going to change.  It's a friendly place with lots of great pubs and beer and stunning countryside on the doorstep.  It has a University to be proud of, because without it, there wouldn't be a Sheffield, it's holding the whole lot together.  The people of Sheffield are very resourceful and good at making do and mending things.   Their expectations  of life are modest.  And the city reflects this.

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