Work is progressing on revamping Sheffield’s historic Fitzalan Square with a new image revealing how the area will look from next year.
Demolition of unloved properties on Arundel Gate and Esperanto Place will open up a striking new view of the square – as shown on a new image released by Sheffield City Council.
The image shows how demolition of two properties at the top of Esperanto Place fronting on to Arundel Gate will open up views and accessibility from Norfolk Street to the rest of city centre and encourage greater numbers of people to visit the area.
Demolition should start in January next year and be completed by March. The steps will be closed to public from January until the scheme’s completion, when a more accessible stairway will be unveiled.
12 new trees will be planted and a grassed area placed around the statue of King Edward VII.
Changes are also planned to the taxi rank by the end of the year.
The improvements to Fitzalan Square and the surrounding area are part of a £5.5m Knowledge Gateway project to transform the area which runs from the Cultural Industries Quarter, where a new-look Site Gallery opened last week, up to the square.
The majority of the funding comes from Sheffield City Region’s Local Growth Fund. Work on site started in June this year and should be completed in July 2019.
The gateway improves links between key destinations including the Cultural Industries Quarter, the Digital Campus, and Sheffield Hallam University campus.
Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment at Sheffield City Council, said: “Sheffielders won’t have failed to see the considerable changes currently taking place in Fitzalan Square. These new images show what the area will look like and point to an exciting future for this proud and historic square.
“We understand that people and businesses may experience short-term inconvenience while the works are taking place but work is progressing well and we thank them for their patience.
“The opening of a new-look Site Gallery and the thriving nature of Hallam’s new art school at the other end of the gateway show how transformational these changes can be in renewing a square which has been something of a no-go area in recent years.
“We have further aspirations for the area that stretch beyond next year – the launch of a new café and a broadening of the retail units on offer there. It’s an exciting site which has played an important part in Sheffield’s history and I’m looking forward to the work being unveiled.”
Dan Jarvis, Mayor of Sheffield City Region, said: “It’s great to see the work that has started that will transform Fitzalan Square into an inviting and welcoming part of Sheffield City centre.
“I’m delighted that this project has benefited from £4.1 million of Sheffield City Region LEP money, which has come from the Local Growth Fund (LGF). LGF funding allows LEPs to drive forward economic growth across the country.”
Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone.
That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.
To date, much of the paving in Fitzalan Square has been removed as well an old police box and seating.
When completed, a large part of the square will be pedestrianised and complemented with the introduction of new lawned and planted areas.
Amey is currently progressing with kerbing and paving works at a number of locations along Pond Street, Paternoster Row and Brown Street.
Fitzalan Square was created in 1881 when Market Street and its buildings were demolished, the early square had a substantial cab stand and clock. However, this was demolished in 1913 to make way for a bronze statue of King Edward VII by Alfred Drury (1857-1944). This was unveiled by the Duke of Norfolk on 27 October 1913, and stands to this day.
Sheffield’s Head Post Office operated in the square for almost ninety years.
It closed in 1999. The Grade II listed former Post Office building became the Sheffield Institute of Arts in 2016. On the west side of the square is the Grade II listed White Building.