Jobs boost in plan for new retail complex

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HUNDREDS of jobs could be created in a proposed retail centre which aims to attract luxury fashion brands.

Sheffield City Council today announced that its planned retail quarter will be backed by public and private sector funds.

The council is looking to secure development and investment partners to deliver the New Retail Quarter, a retail and leisure led scheme in the city centre of up to 600,000 square feet.

According to the council, this initiative will speed up the delivery of the scheme, and could also provide the council with an income stream in the future. The council said it has already had strong interest from investors.

The council has announced plans for a Sheffield Investment Fund, which it believes will bring long-term economic benefits to the region.

In a statement, the council said: “The fund will allow the council and its partners to unlock critical development across Sheffield city centre. Project number one will be the New Retail Quarter.

“The fund will allow the council to work with new development and investment partners. This innovative approach, of local government working in partnership with the private sector, will focus on creating a distinctive city centre to cement Sheffield’s position as one of the UK’s leading cities and further its economic and social success.”

The fund will initially be owned by Sheffield City Council. The council will be able to use the land holdings that it controls, and the Tax Incremental Finance (TiF) required for vital infrastructure, to help establish it.

The fund, which is due to be officially launched in the summer of 2014, will be managed by CBRE Capital Advisors.

Coun Leigh Bramall, Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development at Sheffield City Council, said: “This is about us adopting a different, more innovative approach.

“By setting up the fund and working in complete partnership with the private sector, we can speed up the delivery of the New Retail Quarter by at least two or three years.

“We will work in partnership with the private sector to bring further investment to Sheffield and deliver what is probably the most exciting development opportunity in the UK at this time.”

Last year, Sheffield City Council started the formal process of severing its ties with a major retail developer which it once hoped would spearhead a £600m regeneration project in the heart of the city.

The authority announced in 2013 that Hammerson would no longer be delivering the former Sevenstone project, as the company could not commit to delivering the scheme.

In October last year, the council formally dropped the legally agreed development with Hammerson, and decided to focus on developing its emerging New Retail Quarter project.

Simon Green, the executive director of place at Sheffield City Council, said it was hoped the New Retail Quarter would appeal to mid to high end fashion retailers.