changes to cheffield city centre

How has Sheffield city centre changed due to COVID-19?

The already suffering high streets of the UK have lost even more businesses as COVID-19 forced nationwide lockdowns restricting shopping and eating in city centres.

What has shut?

Many chain shops and restaurants have shut their doors to Sheffield locals during the pandemic. Closed retailers include Pizza Hut, Carphone Warehouse, Foot Locker and Pandora, forcing many to visit outlets in Meadowhall and Valley Centertainment, a tram ride out of the city.

Sheffield high street
Source: Yzabelle Bostyn

The recent closure of the city’s longstanding John Lewis branch has also caused outrage amongst locals, with almost 300 jobs lost and 23,000 signing a petition to keep it open. Despite the recent development of The Moor and the Heart of the City council projects, John Lewis decided to close the store last week.  Local artist Pete McKee has called for the building to be demolished whilst others hope the space will be used as pop up spaces for startups to encourage new business in the city centre.

Other casualties include beloved independent shops such as COW, a  vintage shop on West Street and one of Sheffield’s best-loved pubs, the Devonshire Cat.

The council also forced closures of five businesses in September following breaches of Covid-19 restrictions, including Chicken Stop in the city centre.

Not all doom and gloom…

But there is hope on the horizon, with a new £65 million development including student accommodation, shops, supermarkets and kiosks in the works. Also the former Next store has seen a £1.5 million revamp in a huge boost to the city centre.

Popular coffee spot Marmadukes opened a new outlet on Cambridge Street in January 2020, and despite current closures due to the pandemic, has been doing well. Brand new cafe Mow’s coffee also opened its doors in September 2020 and has stayed open throughout the pandemic to tide us through lockdown blues with their delicious brews.

With the ease of lockdown next week the city centre will change yet again but hopefully this time to remain open.

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