£300 Million Meadowhall Expansion on Hold


Sheffield based shopping centre, Meadowhall, is rethinking a £300 million extension. A development that originally was thought to create the perfect counterpoint to the regeneration of the city centre.

Investment Company – British Land, is rethinking the 330,000 sq ft construction to cut the number of shops that have shown interest in the scheme. Wanting to gain more interest on food, drink and activity sectors as the retail sector continues to struggle.

Last year the extension was given the go-ahead by local planning committees who saw the expansion as a positive opportunity for the shopping centre, and for Sheffield. However it is now likely that new, amended designs will have to go through a similar process before construction works can begin.

Under the original proposal, an all-new multi-level wing, with a distinct latticed glazed roof was to be built on what is currently the centre’s car park. It has been advised that the space would contain a cinema, gym, restaurant facilities, entertainment venues and space for events, with 25 new retail units being able to be purchased. This quantity of retail stores is now having to be re-designed.

In the current climate, it appears that consumers are wanting to spend their money on the experience rather than the items. Meaning less time is spent buying clothes and more time is spent making memories through activities such as eating a meal or watching a movie.

British Land has expressed its desire for the project to be one that further enhances Meadowhall’s position as one of the best shopping centres in Europe. In order to do this, it is being referred to as essential, that improvements reflect leisure time – meaning the centre has to cater for much more than shopping alone.

If the construction plans at Meadowhall are successful, it will complement further ambitious plans to transform Sheffield into a new hub for jobs, living space and leisure activities. New designs for the expansion are being urged to compliment the city and its needs, rather than settle for more shops that aren’t thought to offer the best benefits long term.

Meadowhall has released figures stating it receives around 25 million customers annually, but in such an uncertain economic climate, employees at the shopping centre are uncertain of implementing new retail spaces. Despite Meadowhall currently being a huge success, this is all subject to change, and the centre needs to keep up with the ever-changing demand of consumers in order to remain at the forefront of the industry.

In 2017, four separate districts were created in a £60 million refurbishment, which developed double height stores to brands such as Hollister and All Saints. Companies including Joe Browns, Michael Kors and Flannels joined the shopping centre and a further £40 million was pumped into shop upgrades by companies such as Apple.

While the latest review is likely to take a least a few months before a decision can be concluded, the new construction work could be taking place as early as Spring.


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