What is the Future of Our High Streets?

Fri, May 14, 2021
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM BST
Online

As part of the Civic Trust’s ongoing work focussing on Sheffield’s ‘high ‘street’ and its development, we are pleased to invite our members and supporters to this affiliated event, part of the Festival of Debate.

This event brings together Sheffield Council officers and academics to discuss the future of the places we live, work and shop.

About this event

Covid-19 has only heightened pre-existing issues with the make-up of our high streets and city centres. The steady growth of online sales, matched with falling revenue in high street retail amidst soaring costs in rent and business rates, has resulted in key questions about the future of our city. This is compounded by the now-widespread adoption of remote working and the likely drop in the use of office space in Sheffield city centre.

This event brings together Council officers and academics to discuss the future of the places we live, work and shop. Sheffield’s recent hard-won bid for significant investment into the city centre could present some welcome solutions, but it’s clear that radical revisioning is required. What lies ahead for Sheffield’s high streets?

Speakers:

Julian Dobson – Hallam University & Event Chair

Professor Vanessa Toulmin – Director of City & Culture, Partnerships and Regional Engagement University of Sheffield

Nalin Seneviratne – Director – City Centre Development SCC

Jesse Matheson – University of Sheffield – CoPERI & Senior lecturer in economics

Sara Boonham – Sector lead for Town and City Regeneration at Gleeds

Rosie Dodgson – The Sheffield Civic Trust

Tomorrow’s High Street

“As large high-street retailers leave our city the future of Sheffield’s High Street is in question.  The Sheffield Civic Trust has been ambitiously exploring and debating this for many years and we believe the future of Sheffield’s high street lies in its past.

overall proposed masterplan, running through Sheffield's central axis, from Moorfoot Junction - proposed as an adventure playground - through to the Wicker Arches - reimagined as Wicker Highline, an elevated park along the unused Victoria Station line
overall proposed masterplan, running through Sheffield’s central axis, from Moorfoot Junction – proposed as an adventure playground – through to the Wicker Arches – reimagined as Wicker Highline, an elevated park along the unused Victoria Station line

Historically Sheffield has always had a uniquely linear high-street   Its elongated nature enables it to stretch from Moorfoot to the Wicker, connecting the city centre to thriving neighbourhoods and out to our beloved Peak District. It has the possibility of becoming a luscious extension of the ‘Grey to Green’; a route where pedestrians and cyclists are prioritised and existing nodes repurposed to create destinations where people can live, work, and relax.

Large high-street retailers aid our high street, but they do not define it.  We should celebrate, diversify and utilise our existing high street to create a sustainable ‘Tomorrows High Street’ for Sheffield!”