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I used Chapel Walk this morning - what a dismal ginnel this has become.

 

I know that Covid has obliged various small shops to temporarily close - but will this once pleasant run of independent businesses ever recover? Does SCC have a plan or will it drift into dereliction? 

 

I can remember a couple of bookshops, various gift shops, shoe retailers, fashion boutiques, and a busy cafe. And was there an open-fronted greengrocer at one time? Here's hoping, but I fear for its future.

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23 minutes ago, Cyclecar said:

I used Chapel Walk this morning - what a dismal ginnel this has become.

 

I know that Covid has obliged various small shops to temporarily close - but will this once pleasant run of independent businesses ever recover? Does SCC have a plan or will it drift into dereliction? 

 

I can remember a couple of bookshops, various gift shops, shoe retailers, fashion boutiques, and a busy cafe. And was there an open-fronted greengrocer at one time? Here's hoping, but I fear for its future.

Chapel walk should be a jewel in the crown of city centre planning. It has enormous potential, and a great location. It should be attracting customers to the centre of town, Heaven knows we have few enough of those.

 

To let it go to wrack and ruin like this is disgraceful. 

 

 

Edited by Anna B

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I think it has been hit by the works being done in the area before Covid started.  A couple of great little quirky shops and a good mix.  All it will take is the building work to be completed, and when business starts getting over the pandemic, it should thrive.  It's a great location for a start-up business offering "something different".

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In the 1960's it had a Carnaby Street feel about it. 

Edited by abbeyedges

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1 hour ago, abbeyedges said:

In the 1960's it had a Carnaby Street feel about it. 

Was it The Side Walk then The Roman Room,or vice versa?

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Last time I went there scaffolding was up and had been there for heaven knows how long which made it feel cramped, dark and unpleasant. There were also a lot of people with substance abuse issues hanging around that area begging which, like it or not, will and does put people off the area. 

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41 minutes ago, redruby said:

Last time I went there scaffolding was up and had been there for heaven knows how long which made it feel cramped, dark and unpleasant. There were also a lot of people with substance abuse issues hanging around that area begging which, like it or not, will and does put people off the area. 

Too right it will - the city centre is crawling with these unfortunate people, more than ever recently - I try to do all my shopping in my suburb of Sheffield now and only go into the city centre if there really is no other alternative 😞

 

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Yeah it is very sad to see Chapel Walk in this state it will always have a special place in my heart...

 

Having been in care from the age of 4  I requested to see my birth Mother at the age of 13...

 

I met her at the Crucible Theatre in the upstairs restaurant after having a cup of tea together saying absolutely nothing she asked if I wanted to go for a walk...

 

We ventured up Chapel Walk took a look at various shops where she bought me a yo-yo....

 

 

She left shortly after that to return to London....

 

I may not have the yo-yo anymore but Chapel Walk will always be a special place to me...

 

Sheffield City Council should have never let this quaint little walk way turn into a ghetto that it is today....

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My eldest son lives in America and works in Washington DC. The last time he came over to Sheffield, he wanted to do two things. 
Go upstairs and sit at the front on a double decker bus, and walk down Chapel Walk.! The bus he was delighted with but Chapel Walk was a big let down ! I felt so ashamed ! 

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The scaffolding that has plagued the top end has come down now (bar some at ground level because paperchase is being fitted out, I believe). That's certainly been up too long and the council have some blame to accept for that.

 

Otherwise, I'd be interested to know what some of the people posting above think the actions/responsibilities are that the council should have in relation to Chapel Walk? I doubt they have much control over the rent, or the upkeep of the premises, or the general difficulties many independent retailers have faced over the last 20 years, be that Sheffield or anywhere, scaffolding or no scaffolding?

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7 hours ago, AndrewC said:

The scaffolding that has plagued the top end has come down now (bar some at ground level because paperchase is being fitted out, I believe). That's certainly been up too long and the council have some blame to accept for that.

 

Otherwise, I'd be interested to know what some of the people posting above think the actions/responsibilities are that the council should have in relation to Chapel Walk? I doubt they have much control over the rent, or the upkeep of the premises, or the general difficulties many independent retailers have faced over the last 20 years, be that Sheffield or anywhere, scaffolding or no scaffolding?

I wish I had all the answers! But the council do really need to get onto issues like the scaffolding and sort them out without endless delays because things like that make areas very off putting.

And let’s be honest, many people do not want to walk around town shopping  if they are going to asked for money several times by  people with drug problems.  Of course this is complex issue and I’m not going to pretend I know the best way to deal with this but I do know that it makes the city centre a place to avoid rather than enjoy for many.  I would like to see vulnerable people to be given the help they need. 
There are still some places like Chapel Walk in Nottingham that are nice places to visit so it is possible.

Edited by redruby

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There are no simple answers, no quick fixes as with so many things in our City and society. When the scaffolding comes off the Fargate end of Chapel Walk (and Fargate itself) it should see an improvement, but we will have to wait post-lockdown for any of the shops to reopen. And post-lockdown foot traffic should increase, especially when we can use the rear access to M&S. 

 

What will be evident at that time will be the shops that are not going to reopen. It would be timely for SCC to approach the freeholders to ask them to - at least - smarten up their frontages. If nothing else it will make the shop more appealing to a prospective tenant. I appreciate that these are pivotal times for city centre retailers, with the rise of on-line mail order, etc., but busy makes busy....  Take Sharrowvale Road as an example (and there are others) where foot traffic is busy because the shopkeepers are busy, and so on. There are rarely any empty units. 

 

Sorting that may, however, be easier than sorting the problem of beggars and suchlike, who are of course attracted to crowds with the ability to pay... This is nothing to do with Covid, or the Internet, but a societal problem. Regular foot patrols by comunity police and similar might regulate and disperse the individuals, but I confess to having no 'snap of the fingers' solution.  

 

Back on track, let's hope that these few weeks of enforced respite brings out a practical remedy for what used to be a lively, interesting and sustainable part of the City Centre. 

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