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Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Thursday, 29 July 2010 16:56 UK
Sheffield's Moor to get a new market building
Hoardings have been erected around the site for the new markets on The Moor (July 2010)
July 2010: Hoardings have been erected around the site for the new markets on The Moor

Sheffield City Council is planning to step in to ensure the multi-million pound modernisation of the city's markets gets off the ground.

Under the proposed deal the new owners, the Council - which is the freeholder of the Moor - would offer the owners Scottish Widows an extended lease so the Markets project can start.

The Council would fund and own the new Markets at a cost of up to £18m, while Scottish Widows Investment Partnership would hand over the land to the Council and construct eight new shops fronting the Moor. The long term strategy would also cover completing the upgrading of the Moor which was started in 2010, and a commitment to improve the management and maintenance of the Moor.

The deal could mean a start on site as soon as Autumn 2011, to open at the latest in Autumn 2013.

Sheffield Council Leader Paul Scriven spoke to BBC Radio Sheffield in July 2010 about how the Council can afford to do this in a time when they are making millions of pounds of cuts in other Council services:

"The £18 million is not new; it has already been agreed. The choice is that either the developer, Scottish Widows, build the new market and gets the rent - or the Council does. We did an analysis to find out which was in the best interest of the people of Sheffield and we found that if we put the money upfront, then not only do we get the money back over a period of time but also Sheffield taxpayers start making a profit from the money that comes in through the rents. It's investing now to make money for Sheffield in the long-run."

In July 2010, BBC Radio Sheffield spoke to traders at Castle Market to find out how they feel about the potential move to the new markets on The Moor.

Castle Market butcher Anthony Birks told BBC Radio Sheffield: "Castlegate hasn't been the centre of town from a retail point of view for some 30 years."

He says Sheffield's problem is that it has two town centres - The Moor and Castlegate, with Fargate in between with all the high street shops.

"Castlegate used to be the centre of the universe but now it's bypassed because it's isolated - a proverbial island," says Anthony Birks. "We're managing to just scrape a living but as you can see around us at Castle Market there are a lot of empty stalls."

Artist's impression, Moor Market
Artist's mock-up of 'Block 6' - the exterior of the new enclosed Moor Market

As part of the new market plans, the Moor will get a new indoor market and eight new shops, despite a tough economic climate.

Planning permission has been agreed and the site for the new Moor markets is now being prepared.

Plans for the Moor Markets

The Scottish Widow Group bought the site and surrounding area for £26.5 million in February 2010.

The Moor will have a new £18 million market hall to replace the rundown Castle Markets , including 200 stalls and eight shops.

View of the 1960s buildings
Some Castle Market traders say the building is run-down and outdated

Architects Leslie Jones designed the plans which are modelled on modern European markets.

John Rawlinson is the Project Developer for the proposed scheme. He told BBC Radio Sheffield that the plans had to be reviewed to make them viable in the current economic situation.

"We're in very difficult times at the moment - major developments are very hard to progress but we've managed to push this one forward," said John Rawlinson.

However there have been major changes to the planning application since initial approval was given:

"The main change is the omission of the student accommodation. In the current market is there a demand for it? We reviewed the original plans and decided to proceed without but the rest of the development is pretty much the same as before."

Artist's impression, Moor Market
An artist's impression of the Moor's proposed indoor market

Artist's impressions of the new indoor market show a building reminiscent of the Winter Garden near Tudor Square. John Rawlinson explains:

"We're trying to develop a sustainable, high quality scheme. There's a half domed entrance largely in glass and wood - we're trying to get a lot of light and a lot of natural materials into the development."

Traders at Castle Market say that footfall there is down 8-9000. They get a reduction of 40% from their rent and are worried that a move to The Moor will cost them. However, footfall is higher on The Moor and shoppers say they will be pleased to see the main markets there.

"It's all run-down at Castle Market and we come to this end more," one shopper told BBC Radio Sheffield. Another said, "I hardly ever go down to Castle Market so I think I would definitely visit the market if it was down The Moor. It would be more appealing. If they're sprucing it up, they'll get more trade, it's more attractive. Castle Market is very scruffy."

Council leader Paul Scriven says that while Sheffield is still a few years away from the new market, we still have one:

"We're lucky that we've still got Castle Market. It has seen better days but we have adverts around town to encourage people to go there for their fresh produce.

"Shoppers want a new bright environment though and that's exactly what we'll have with The Moor market building. We'll also get a new outdoor market a couple of days a week. It's a win for shoppers, Sheffield taxpayers and retailers."

History of The Moor

In the beginning, The Moor was - as its namesake suggests - a swampy moorland between Sheffield and Little Sheffield to the south. It became a main thoroughfare into the city - an ordinary street with shops, buses, cars and trams - but it was badly damaged during the blitz in World War Two.

The Moor in Sheffield became a main thoroughfare into the city
The Moor in Sheffield became a main thoroughfare into the city

The street was pedestrianised in the early 1980s and market stalls were introduced shortly afterwards. They proved very popular but the area became tatty and was refurbished in the late 1990s.

The area now called The Moor stretches from Moorhead by the Peace Gardens in the north, to Moorfoot by the large red Civil Service building in the south. However this building is now empty.

In November 2009 artist Andy Cropper painted pictures of The Moor before its re-development. You can see his artwork here:

Your comments

What do you think of the new proposals for The Moor and the move from Castle Market? Have your say via the form below.

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Derrick Robinson, Belton, North Lincolnshire

Here we go again. Another expensive market building that will no doubt have high rents that traders won't like and is also nowhere near the rail or bus stations.

Bob, Sheffield

The old Castle Market, run down and depressing at it is, happens to be right next to the city bus depot (Transport Interchange). As such, it is easily accessed from any area around Sheffield. There is very little public transport around the new site. Do they honestly expect people to drag their bags the entire length of the city? It'll probably look lovely, but it won't work.

Baldy, Sheffield

Good idea to put the Castle foundations on display currently buried under Castle Markets. As for the new markets on The Moor, there will still be a problem parking without having to say extortionate parking prices when it's free at Meadowhall and only pence not pounds in Chesterfield.

Anthony Birks - Butcher, Castle Market (speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield, 29.7.10)

It sounds like it's definitely on the cards but I'll believe it when I see bricks and mortar being laid. Castlegate hasn't been the centre of town from a retail point of view for some 30 years. The problem with Sheffield is that it's got two town centres - The Moor and Castlegate. Castlegate used to be the centre of the universe but now it's bypassed because it's isolated (and run down) - a proverbial island. We're managing to just scrape a living but as you can see around us at Castle Market there are a lot of empty stalls.

Brett Kempton - Sweet shop, Castle Market (speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield, 29.7.10)

They keep saying the move will happen, then they say it's not, then it gets put back a bit... with the recession and the government cutting money back... But apparently they are still going ahead with it - but I've heard it's going to take about four years. I think it will be better. It's dying down here at Castle Market - it's getting worse and worse every day. I think it will be better at The Moor.

Patrick Allen, Sheffield

Plans for the new market badly placed. What are the planners' real reasons for putting the market on The Moor? Upgrade the present market ar council their going to be offices built. Remember a lot of people like the market where it is. Why should people have to go to The Moor? Please Council, don't move the market.

Gregory, Sheffield

Not very nice. Uninspired, uninteresting and badly placed. The architecture and style are boring and copy all the drab we've seen being built the past five years in Sheffield city centre.

The "developers" words are empty and shallow. "We're trying to develop a sustainable, high quality scheme. There's a half domed entrance largely in glass and wood - we're trying to get a lot of light and a lot of natural materials into the development." Seriously? We're meant to do our shopping in this? I don't fancy being a guinea pig to your architectural experimentation.

Michael G Thornton, Sheffield
This exciting new development will, along with other developments further up, refresh and renew a part of Sheffield which is now looking a little 'sorry for itself'. It will add to the fight-back against out-of-town malls, and who knows The Moor, with Fargate at one end, and London Road at the other may become the UK answer to Copenhagen's Stroget!




SEE ALSO
In pictures: Castle Market
14 Jul 10 |  History
Should Castle Market be listed?
08 Jul 10 |  People & Places
In pictures: The Moor paintings
17 Nov 09 |  Arts & Culture
The Blitz on The Moor
10 Dec 09 |  People & Places
The fate of Sheffield's old fire station
13 Oct 09 |  People & Places
Bosses seek talks over city cuts
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