£1.4m scheme to improve area round new city-centre flats development

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PEOPLE who have moved into new city centre flats developments have been promised a £1.4m programme of improvements which will aim to improve derelict and unused sites around their homes.

Cash for the scheme will come from payments made by developers to Sheffield Council under so-called section 106 agreements which are supposed to provide new open space and public areas.

Coun Helen Mirfin-Boukouris, the authority’s business, jobs and growth spokesman, said the St Vincent’s area, which makes up part of the Netherthorpe community, had undergone huge changes.

She added: “There has been considerable investment in new developments in St Vincents over the years and it is estimated that there are up to 3,000 new residents now living in the area.

“This area of the city centre used to be industrial so there is a need for a new and improved open space for these new residents and workers.

“The site is central to a growing community who strongly support the addition of a new open space.”

As well as section 106 cash, funding will also come from the EU will be one of the first projects to be delivered as part of Sheffield Council’s Breathing Spaces Strategy.

The authority said the proposal will create a new public square area with facilities,including an artificially turfed sportsand events area in the centre of the site.

Terraced areas will also be provided, along with the creation of extensive new areas of shrub planting and wild flower meadows, new tree planting and the creation of an outside seating area.

Kathryn Mudge, manager of Netherthorpe-based community project Zest, said her organisation had been calling for improvements for 15 years.

She added: “It is great to see this scheme coming to fruition – it will provide a much needed, high quality, green space for local residents.”

The council said it hoped the project will also increase security and local sense of ownership. Work will start in the spring.