SHEFFIELD-Hammerson has fought off tough competition from British Land and Multi Development Corporation to win the right to develop a new shopping centre in the heart of Sheffield city centre. Hammerson was the unanimous choice of the jury, made up of members of Sheffield One – Sheffield’s regeneration agency – the city council, English Partnerships, Yorkshire Forward and independent experts.

Hammerson’s concepts -which include a covered Galleria, a new crescent and a landmark building designed by Building Design partnership – won public endorsement at an exhibition of all three schemes last month. The proposed new quarter will cover the area from Barkers Pool to Pinstone Street and the top of the Moor, centered around a refurbished and extended Cole Brothers department store. The scheme is seen as one of the biggest retail development opportunities of the decade.

Sheffield One said Hammerson had been chosen because of its track record, creativity, innovation and design excellence, and ability to attract big new retail names to the city centre. Hammerson has completed two large city centre schemes – the Oracle in Reading and West Quay in Southampton – over the past two years, and it is currently involved in major malls in Birmingham and Bristol.

Hammerson’s Chief Executive John Richards said: ‘The city is going through a period of remarkable change and we are very excited to become part of it. This is a tremendous opportunity to create a completely new and unique shopping experience.’

And Ann Humphries, Director of Retail Development at John Lewis – owner of Cole Brothers – said: ‘This is great news for Sheffield and for John Lewis. Hammerson is one of the UK’s leading retail developers with a well-deserved reputation for high quality schemes; we enjoy excellent working relationships with them, most recently on the WestQuay shopping centre in Southampton. We are very pleased to be collaborating with them on this major retail development in Sheffield.’ Sheffield One and the City Council were advised by Healey & Baker and Hammerson was advised by Montagu Evans and Lunson Mitchenall.

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