Theatre square £4m revamp likely to win go-ahead

PLANS for the £4m redesign of Sheffield's Tudor Square are expected to be approved by the council's planning committee at a meeting on Monday.

Some work has been around the square already, such as the repaving of Norfolk Street and Surrey Street.

Now the plans are to revamp the square itself, which lies between the Crucible and Lyceum theatres, to create a space for outdoor events.

The square houses a number of listed buildings, including both theatres as well as the Graves Art Gallery and the Ruskin Building.

However, according to a report set to go before Monday's planning meeting, the area has become "tired and confused" and "fails to capitalise on its setting."

The report goes on to say: "This has also harmed the way the square functions as a meeting place, and as a setting for public and cultural events, whilst also failing to attract theatre-goers before performances and retaining them afterwards."

The works, which are being funded by a 4.125m grant from regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, include the removal of the grassy area in the centre of the square, repaving, new lighting, a new seating area, the replacement of existing street furniture and new raised planter beds to contain floral displays similar to those in the Peace Gardens.

Sheffield Council carried out a public consultation in the Winter Gardens this summer, during which 302 people returned questionnaires giving their views. Eighty-three per cent of respondents said they were in favour of the redesign.

Recommending that the scheme should be granted planning permission, planning officers state in the report: "The overall design concept for Tudor Square is viewed as reflecting the excellent urban realm design standards that have become synonymous with Sheffield.

"The scheme has ensured the requirements of the World Snooker Championship held on an annual basis will be met. Indeed, facilities for this event will be improved owing to the new levels.

"It is anticipated that improved levels and facilities will attract new and retain existing cultural and public events within the square."

The planning meeting takes place on Monday at 2pm at Sheffield Town Hall.