Cole Brothers, Sheffield: When will the former Cole Brothers building re-open in Sheffield city centre?

There is no exact timetable for the re-opening of the iconic Cole Brothers building in Sheffield city centre, it has been revealed.

Sheffield Council’s Strategy and Resource Policy Committee on December 21 heard that despite an agreement on the developer itself for the former John Lewis building, a timetable is yet to be published.

The council and Urban Splash have negotiated a takeover for months. The company has put forward plans to turn the building into cafes, shops, offices and events space.

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While a report sets out the next steps and requirements, including submitting a planning application and securing funding for the works, there is no timetable made available for the public.

The Cole Brothers building in Sheffield city centreThe Cole Brothers building in Sheffield city centre
The Cole Brothers building in Sheffield city centre

We, then, don’t know when the revamped building would re-open – the only thing the report stated was that the company had 24 months to satisfy those agreed conditions or the “agreement can be terminated”.

Cllr Martin Smith (Dore and Totley, Liberal Democrats) asked the presenting officers for clarification.

He said: “There’s nothing in there (in the report) about when the building is open to use.

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“I get loads of feedback from the members of the public about ‘we like what’s going on in the city centre but when on Earth is it going to be finished’”.

He asked why the report didn’t include the commitment from the company for when the building was going to open.

A presenting officer said the said 24-month agreement was “an absolute drop-dead date”.

However, a more specific timetable was set out in a restricted document that the public and the press are unable to scrutinise.

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After the announcement of the agreement between the council and Urban Splash, Cllr Tom Hunt, the leader of the council, said: “The former Cole Brothers building is an important and much-loved part of Sheffield City Centre. It’s great that we’re moving forward with Urban Splash to breathe new life back into the building.

“The exciting proposal from Urban Splash will add to the fantastic regeneration we’re seeing throughout the city centre in the Heart of the City development at West Bar and more.

“Sheffield is a city on the up. We are creating a city centre that will be a destination for people to come and relax, shop, eat, work, and drink.”

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