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‘Ambitious plans for our city’: Two further Levelling Up fund bids submitted

A view of Sheffield from the top of the former Ski Slope at Parkwood Springs
A view of Sheffield from the top of the former Ski Slope at Parkwood Springs

Over the summer, a further two Levelling Up bids were submitted by Sheffield City Council to the government which could result in development of community facilities in Heeley and much needed investment to facilitate development at Parkwood Springs. 

Heeley Development Trust

The Council has submitted a request for more than £17million funding for development in the Heeley area. With the Council’s support, Heeley Trust has developed a promising project which aims to deliver improvements to community facilities and access to resources and education spaces.

If the bid is successful, the project would see:

  • Completion of the restoration of former Anns Grove School
    Building on the success of the first phase of restoration, the funding would enable the creation of further spaces for businesses, cultural and community organisations.
  • Completion of Ash Tree Yard restoration
    Creating an outdoor industry hub around Heeley Trust’s award-winning bike shop, A Different Gear, with businesses which share Sheffield’s ‘Outdoor City’ values and bolster its economy.
  • Improved access for all
    Footpaths in the area are to be repaired and resurfaced to encourage active travel and links to public transport and local services are to be improved. Land is also to be acquired to increase car parking capacity.
  • Refurbishment of community facilities and creation of a new community garden
  • Creation of state-of-the-art primary care network hub and social prescribing centre
  • Restoration and regeneration of Meersbrook Hall
    A historic building prominently situated within the district’s main public park which will be repaired and refurbished to unlock its potential to be reused as a community hub, makers space and studio.

Parkwood Springs

The Council has also bid for more than £19million funding for ambitious plans for Parkwood Springs. Parkwood Springs is a prominent feature of Sheffield’s landscape – a well-known asset that has been under-utilised since a fire destroyed its much-loved Ski Village in 2012. If successful, the Levelling Up funding would be used to kick start the ambition to create a Country Park in the City, cementing Sheffield’s reputation as the “Outdoor City”.

The investment will pave the way for a regional leisure destination and a valued amenity for Sheffield residents – especially those living in the nearby communities.  

If the bid is successful, the project would see:

  • Improved access to Parkwood Springs
    Access to the site would be improved for all, with a particular focus on increasing active travel and public transport provision to the area and improving approaches to the site with ‘Grey to Green’ type investment used elsewhere in the City.
  • Site clearance, clean up and enabling works
    The area of the former ski slope would be prepared for future redevelopment as a regional leisure destination with all derelict remains from the previous ski slope removed.
  • Investment in trails and wayfinding
    Funding will be used to deliver new and upgrade existing walking paths and mountain bike trails, extending the area of the site which can be accessed and making the whole site more accessible to people of all ages and abilities. With a new visitor centre and bike hub, plus information boards, event space and improved boundaries, Parkwood Springs will be strengthened as a destination in its own right.

The bids are currently being assessed by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and a decision is expected to be reached in the coming months.

Cllr Mazher Iqbal, Co-Chair of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee, said:

“The latest round of Levelling Up bid submissions are extremely exciting and we hope we secure the funding in order to achieve our ambitious plans for our city. The bids promise to improve Sheffield’s offer to its residents, with state-of-the-art facilities, restoration of buildings steeped in history and a large and vibrant green space. We hope to build on the fantastic work our communities have put into these areas. However, regardless of the outcome, we remain committed to improving the lives of residents across Sheffield, in all areas of their lives.”

Andy Jackson, Trust Manager of Heeley Trust, said:

“We are really excited about our proposals to Levelling Up Fund, it’s really difficult for a community organisation like ours to get this far with a bid to government – there is a proper glass ceiling of rules and bureaucracy - we don’t know of another bid like it anywhere. Credit goes to who supported us with this – I hope it challenges people to think differently about what communities are capable of. We have designed this project so everybody in Heeley will see the difference and feel proud of our community – it’s a great place and these plans need to be delivered – Levelling Up Fund or not.”

Neill Schofield, Joint Chair of the Friends of Parkwood Springs, said:

"​We think the City Council's bid is coherent, and a really well-considered plan. Parts of the site need substantial work to remove the legacy of previous uses and to make them safe. There needs to be very substantial improvements to access, and a range of other improvements to the site. Taken together these actions will make Parkwood Springs an attractive destination for people from near and far."