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Spending cuts: Sheffield retail quarter suspended

A raft of architects including Hawkins\Brown look set to lose out following the government decision to ‘review’ funding for the £600 million Sevenstone retail quarter in Sheffield

The government, through regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, had previously agreed to a £12 million funding package to help finance the 80,000m² retail-led scheme in Sheffield city centre which features individual buildings by Foreign Office Architects, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, BDP, Pick Everard, Stiff + Trevillion and ACME.

The project, which also features a flagship John Lewis store design by O’Donnell + Tuomey and has been on hold since January 2009, now looks increasingly unlikely to proceed in its current form.

Sheffield MP and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg spoke of his anguish to the local press about the decision to suspend the cash injection for the key project on his ‘home turf.’

He told the The Star: ‘[It has] been very difficult for me personally.

‘The betrayal is a Labour government making promises to curry favour with people just before the election when they knew those promises couldn’t be honoured.

‘[But] Let’s keep it in perspective. The Sevenstone retail scheme is not being cancelled, it is being looked at again.’

A spokesperson for Hammerson said:  ‘Sheffield is punching well below its weight in terms of its retail offer and is losing out to the likes of Manchester and Leeds. The new retail quarter is an essential part of repositioning Sheffield in the UK retail hierarchy and to introduce much needed inward investment for the city.

‘However, public sector support is essential and the Yorkshire Forward and Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) funding is critical in enabling key land acquisitions to be acquired to secure the site for redevelopment. [We are] striving to work with the bodies involved in the review process to ensure that funding is retained and that the project can continue.’

Last week Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the treasury, revealed a list of 12 projects which would be cancelled outright including Denton Corker Marshalls’ £20 million Stonehenge visitor centre.

Other key projects suspended:

Sheffield Retail Quarter: £12 million
Kent Thameside Strategic Transport Programme: £23million
Leeds Holt Park Well-being Centre (FaulknerBrowns): £50 million
Birmingham Magistrates Court (Denton Corker Marshall): £94 million

 

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