Sheffield's John Lewis store to stay in current home as plans for move are scrapped

Sheffield's John Lewis store will remain in its existing home as plans to move it as part of a major redevelopment of the city centre are shelved, it has been revealed today.

Sheffield's John Lewis store is to remain in its current location.
Sheffield's John Lewis store is to remain in its current location.

It was revealed in June 2015 that Sheffield City Council had been in talks with John Lewis about the existing store in Barker’s Pool potentially being demolished and a new store built elsewhere as part of plans to redevelop the layout of the city centre.

But after almost three years of discussions, Sheffield City Council said today John Lewis will remain in its current home as it announced revised redevelopment plans in which the updated scheme will follow existing street patterns rather than new roads being created.

It is hoped that retaining the current layout of the city centre will speed up delivery of the wider £469m redevelopment scheme, which is being paid for by the council. It also means there is now no need for John Lewis to move location.

A spokesman for Sheffield City Council said: “Retention of existing streets will see the John Lewis store remain in its existing location, which it has occupied since 1963 as a key focal point of the city on Barker’s Pool. This will facilitate speed of delivery of the scheme.”

For years, the department store has been at the heart of the city centre, sitting opposite Sheffield City Hall. It was known as Cole Brothers before being rebranded as John Lewis in 2002.

The revised plans for the city centre include the creation of two new luxury hotels, as well as 1.5million square feet of space for retailers, offices, restaurants and cafes.

It is the latest attempt to revitalise Sheffield city centre, with several masterplans put forward over the past 20 years failing to get off the ground.

The new masterplan, known as ‘Heart of the City II’ and a revised version of what was previously called the Sheffield Retail Quarter, will be presented to the council’s cabinet later this month, ahead of the first wave of planning applications being submitted this summer.

Construction work is already well under way on the building of a £90m new office for HSBC, which will also incorporate several new retail units. That project was part of the Sheffield Retail Quarter scheme but is now included as part of ‘Heart of the City II’ - itself named after a separate regeneration project in the city centre that resulted in the building of the indoor Winter Garden, Millennium Gallery, Peace Gardens and the offices, restaurants and shops of St Paul’s Place.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment at Sheffield City Council, said: “I am delighted to see these new plans come forward which will make such a lasting impact on Sheffield’s retail, leisure and entertainment offer. We believe that these re-shaped and exciting plans position Sheffield brilliantly to deliver an individual and unique scheme that reflects the different ways in which people shop, live and socialise.

“Our commitment to the scheme is already demonstrated by the ongoing construction of HSBC’s impressive new office development and accompanying retail and leisure units. These plans will maintain the momentum we have achieved, create thousands of jobs and place Sheffield firmly in the premier league of UK cities.”

A spokesman for John Lewis said: "We welcome the scheme to develop the heart of the city centre in order to make Sheffield a more vibrant and successful place. We continue to work with the council to support their plans for the proposed developments surrounding John Lewis and to understand how our shop might be developed in conjunction with these proposals.