Meadowhall’s new multi million pound leisure centre worries Sheffield shop keepers

By Kaja Bjelke @kbjelke1

It was revealed today that British Land, joint owner of Meadowhall, is building a £300 million leisure centre in hopes to draw even more people to the area.

This is the biggest extension since it opened over 25 years ago, and it is one of the largest investments in the Sheffield City Region for a decade.

The proposed plans will add a range of dining and entertainment experiences, such as a new cinema, a bowling alley and an indoor golf course to Meadowhall.

Compromising 330,000 square feet of land, the new leisure hall will be the size of over six football fields.

Developers believe it will improve what Sheffield can offer to both residents and visitors, alongside Sheffield Retail Quarter, the redevelopment of the Moor and the planned Ikea at the old Tinsley Wire site.

Darren Pearce, Meadowhall Centre Director, said: “The proposed Leisure Hall is designed to give our shoppers even more choice and variety.” However, local shop keepers are concerned this will take even more business away from Sheffield city centre.

Gavin Clarke, manager at The New Shop on Division Street, said: “I think this is the nail in the coffin for the city centre.” “It will ruin the city centre, because it can’t compete”, Clarke said.

He believes independent shops will suffer the most, and said even high-street shops are leaving the city centre, as Meadowhall has a monopoly on customers. A detailed planning application for the Leisure Hall will be submitted in late summer 2016, and British Land hopes to open their doors to visitors in late 2020, or early 2021.


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