Work starts on major Sheffield city centre revamp as concerns mount over deadline

Unpopular cobbles on Fargate are being removed as work finally begins on a multi-million pound revamp of one of Sheffield’s premier streets.

The stones are being ripped out and replaced with smooth paving flags, flower beds, bins and bollards over the next 16 months.

At a drop-in session held by contractor Sisk in October, Heather Slater, of Intake, welcomed the move. She said: “The cobbles are horrendous, people in wheelchairs or buggies feel every bump.”

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It is the first stage of an upgrade for Fargate after the city council landed £15.8 million from the government’s Future High Streets Fund. In total, some £18m will be spent.

Cobbles were unpopular with some wheelchair users
Cobbles were unpopular with some wheelchair users

The project includes Event Central, a six-storey creative hub in the former Clintons card shop on Fargate. But fears are growing over a looming deadline.

Funding, confirmed in December 2020, must be spent by March 2024 or it could be clawed back by government. Sheffield City Council is still looking for a builder and an operator.

Red and white barriers and metal fencing on Fargate.
Red and white barriers and metal fencing on Fargate.
Work begins on Fargate in Sheffield as the cobbles are lifted.
Work begins on Fargate in Sheffield as the cobbles are lifted.