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Sheffield looks for flagship to kick off hi-tech regeneration

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The leaders of Sheffield's £500 million regeneration programme this week unveiled plans to rebrand the city with a high-technology landmark building which will be seen by visitors arriving from the M1 and the revamped railway station.

The deputy chairman of Sheffield One, Hugh Sykes, said that public money will be used to run an international architectural competition for the flagship building at the heart of a new high-technology business campus to the east of the city. Sykes is attracted by the impact of Frank Gehry's Bilbao Guggenheim and said that a quality building could make a new logo or slogan for the city redundant.

'People judge a place by its architecture, ' Sykes said. 'We want a building which reflects the city's new branding of 'advanced services and technology''The scheme is likely to be an office block with integrated arts or museum facilities. Plans for the landmark building will press ahead if the City Council throws its weight behind Koetter Kim Associates'masterplan for the city, as expected.

Sheffield is one of the first three regeneration companies and the government has announced its intention to launch 12 more.The companies bring together public and private money and currently run in East Manchester and Liverpool as well as Sheffield.The AJ has learnt that the government is planning new companies in Leicester, Corby, Wembley and Teeside.The Richard Rogers Partnership is already producing a masterplan for the Wembley area.

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