Urban Splash was named preferred bidder in June 2023. Credit: AHMM

Urban Splash signs Cole Brothers lease

Plans to turn the former Sheffield department store into a mixed-use entertainment, leisure and retail venue can now advance, with consultation to take place in the coming months.

Urban Splash was named as preferred bidder for the listed landmark in Barker’s Pool last year, winning with a proposal that combined flexible workspace with cafes, retail, leisure, cultural and event spaces complementary to the Heart of the City project.

Cllr Tom Hunt, chair of Sheffield City Council’s strategy and resources committee, said: “It is fantastic to see another significant milestone achieved for this project. The former Cole Brothers building is an important and much loved part of Sheffield city centre and it will be great to breathe new life back into it.

“The work complements the schemes already being developed across the city including the Heart of the City, West Bar, and Fargate. We are creating a city centre that will be a destination for people to come and relax, shop, eat, work, and drink.”

The developer is working with AHMM on the project. Unlike other bids, Urban Splash’s thinking was to retain the car park structure at the site’s rear, albeit repurposing it to reduce parking spaces from 400 to around a quarter of that.

Various council committees in recent months have considered the terms of a lease agreement with the Manchester-headquarterecoled regeneration specialist.

Nathan Cornish, group board director at Urban Splash, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen by Sheffield City Council to regenerate this iconic building.

“Almost everyone I meet from Sheffield has a story to tell and we’re thrilled to be playing a part in its next chapter. We are still in the early stages and we are looking forward to consulting with the local community and stakeholders as we start to work up our plans.”

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