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The new Fitzalan Square will feature improved pedestrian walk ways
The new Fitzalan Square will feature improved pedestrian walk ways

£4.1m to boost jobs, homes and ‘Knowledge Gateway’ in Sheffield

Released by Sheffield City Region

 7 November

A multi-million-pound funding boost for Sheffield’s ‘Knowledge Gateway’ from the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is set to transform several prominent streets and spaces in Sheffield City Centre helping to create the setting for 2,863 new jobs and almost 500 new homes, growing the regional economy by an estimated £158million.

The LEP is contributing £4.115m in infrastructure funding to transform a major corridor of the city centre running from Paternoster Row in the Cultural Industries Quarter via Pond Street and Pond Hill up to the historic Fitzalan Square.

The work, in an area which has significant potential for growth, will bring the Knowledge Gateway up to the same high standard as the Sheffield city centre Gold and Steel Routes.

Following the long-awaited renovation of the former head post office in Fitzalan Square as Sheffield Hallam University’s Sheffield Institute of Arts (SIA), Sheffield City Council announced plans earlier this year to upgrade the route from the Edwardian-era square along Pond Street to Paternoster Row and Brown Street, the focus of the Cultural Industries Quarter as well as improving connections to the city centre and station.

The project aims to help unlock major development opportunities at areas along the route including the site of the former Nelson Mandela building, the former sorting office on Flat Street and the Digital Campus.

Fitzalan Square, Sheffield’s main public space in Edwardian times, has become a less-celebrated location in recent years, cut off from the rest of the city centre and dominated by traffic.

Fitzalan Square in the 1930s

Fitzalan Square in the 1920s

Paternoster Row is the main street of the Cultural Industries Quarter, home to the Showroom, Workstation, Site Gallery, Yorkshire Artspace and Sheffield Hallam’s Student Union building, but it is also dominated by fast-moving buses and taxis with little pedestrian space.

The work will support development on Sheffield Hallam city centre campus and increase the attractiveness of living and working in the Cultural Industries Quarter. It is due to start next May and will take about a year to complete.

The Gateway improves the setting and links between key destinations including the Cultural Industries Quarter, the Digital Campus, and Sheffield Hallam University Central Campus supporting current investment by Hallam in the new Institute of Arts and by the Site Gallery in its new exhibition space. The work will support further development of Sheffield Hallam campus and increase the attractiveness of visiting, living and working in the Cultural Industries Quarter. It is due to start next May and will take about a year to complete.

Sir Nigel Knowles, Chair of the CA’s Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is a wonderful scheme which will benefit the whole of the City Region. It will make the corridor a much more pleasant place to use and visit, and even to live in. In turn this will encourage investors and boost jobs and connectivity.

“I am delighted that we are backing a scheme which will generate such benefits. The City Region has a strong business culture and we know that an excellent quality of life, which we work hard at, is important to investors and creating growth.

“We have an enviable reputation here for getting things done and our strong work ethic reinforces the hard work of our partners across the City Region.”

The new Fitzalan Square will feature improved pedestrian walk ways

The new Fitzalan Square will feature improved pedestrian walk ways

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment at Sheffield City Council, said: “There is no doubt that Fitzalan Square needs improving to bring it back to what it once was, one of Sheffield’s proudest and most distinctive public squares.

“The council has already played a part in bringing the old post office back into use and this scheme can now help the wider area to thrive, creating jobs and boosting the busineses and galleries from Castlegate to Paternoster Row.”

This scheme was made possible by the Sheffield City Region Infrastructure Fund (SCRIF) with assistance from the national Local Growth Fund.