The long-overdue and continued redevelopment of one of Sheffield’s pedestrianised shopping streets
As a child and teenager embarking on a shopping trip in town I would always get off the bus outside Sharps fruit shop, walk past Dempsey’s and the Moorfoot government building before turning right up the Moor.
Despite rebranding attempts over the years, the Moor has always been somewhat rundown, with an above-average proportion of pound shops and boarded-up shop fronts. It is amazing to think that in the 1980s Hamleys chose to open a store here (one of the first outside London). Unfortunately it didn’t hang around for long – and people speculate that it perhaps took Redgates down with it.
Walking up the Moor today presents you with contrasting impressions of deprivation mixed with the green shoots of renewal. More shops than ever are boarded up, market stalls stand eerily empty and the businesses that remain trading are quiet. However, the dated post-war buildings are being bulldozed, cranes are moving in and the area is set to be redeveloped into a shopping destination and home for the relocated Castle markets.
The city centre masterplan defines the Moor as “a retail area catering mainly for the ‘value goods’ end of the market but with several major anchor stores” and it seems that planners are content to position the precinct in this sector of the market.
Hopefully the new and improved Moor will be able to cater for this while fitting in properly with the rest of the developments taking place in neighbouring quarters.