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Future of former Cole Brothers building to be decided next week

Cole Brothers building stands beside a crane and blue skies

Next Wednesday Sheffield City Council’s Strategy and Resources Committee will meet to decide the future use of the former Cole Brothers building in Barker’s Pool.  

The Committee will discuss a report which outlines the six proposals considered and decide whether to proceed to the next stage of detailed negotiations with the preferred bidder recommended by Council officers.

The preferred bidder proposes to transform the building into a mixed-use space – comprising of cafes, retail, leisure, event space and workspace – with substantial areas of the building reopening for the public. The scheme and uses would complement the existing and proposed development within the rest of the Heart of the City project.

The plans would see Barker’s Pool and Cambridge Street entrances opened up to allow for outdoor dining areas. The rest of the ground floor would be filled with retail units, with particular interest in independent businesses, the lower ground floors would be used for leisure purposes. The upper floors would be workspace together with some rooftop offices.

It is proposed the existing car park structure would be maintained but with far fewer parking spaces for use by the tenants of the building. The structure would have public access to a pocket park at the top, as well as studio spaces and a gym on the upper levels.

Refurbishment of the building will be a ‘light touch, maximum impact’ approach with limited changes such as retaining and exposing existing features and cleaning the façade rather than replacing panels, whilst improving thermal performance.

Natural light and ventilation will be maximised by creating a large atrium through the building. This has many environmental benefits in terms of reducing potential energy and water use and retaining embodied carbon within the structure.

The other submissions were for a mixture of uses including a hotel, offices and residential. The interest that the marketing generated and the quality and amount of work that was submitted by all of the bidders was hugely impressive and encouraging for other projects which the Council will be bringing forward in the near future.

Cllr Tom Hunt, Leader of Sheffield City Council and Chair of the Strategy and Resources Committee, said:

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to decide the future of an important and much-loved building in the city centre. This promises to be a really positive step forward for Sheffield. We can’t wait to see the building come to life again over the coming years.

“It is fantastic to see high calibre developers showing so much interest in our city and willing to invest on a significant scale. It shows developers are watching and noticing Sheffield and want to be a part of the positive changes that are happening here.

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