A new £50m arena in Sheffield city center would create a ‘cultural anchor of international significance’

It is hoped that a 6,000 capacity performance, arts and conference venue at the Pond Street site will host live bands at night and cultural events, lectures and exhibitions during the day.

WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO SHEFFIELD ARENA?

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The interchange has excellent transport links and is close to the city centre.

But its proponents believe the upheaval would be worth it to create a “cultural anchor of national or international significance”.

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And the success of Olympic Legacy Park – which replaced Don Valley Stadium and attracted £100million in investment – showed how it could be done.

Gerry Cinnamon plays at Sheffield Arena, which has a capacity of 14,000.

He said: “Channel 4’s bid told me we have some of the best creative businesses in the country. Now we need something at the center of it all. It would anchor an area stretching from the Cultural Industries Quarter to Castlegate.

“This could be the next big development in a post-Brexit, post-Covid era. I am convinced that people always want to come together to enjoy things.

Leeds, Liverpool and Newcastle have city center arenas, but Mr Caborn said the new venue would ‘move away’ from them due to its wide range of uses.

Pond Street bus station is underused and should be replaced with a new location, some say.

Sheffield Arena has a capacity of 14,000, but larger groups could play two nights in the new building instead of one, he added.

Mr Caborn said the Attercliffe building would have no trouble replacing music with sport and cited the Sheffield Steelers ice hockey team, which has just signed a contract for a further seven years in the middle of increasing attendance.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE BUSES?

Meanwhile, stops at the bus station could be moved to Paternoster Row, near the station, and High Street.

Sheffield Utilita Arena.

The new venue would also address the need for larger conference space than the University of Sheffield Octagon, Town Hall and Ponds Forge Sports Centre, he added.

However, it would be easily accessible on foot, by train and by car, if drivers used a new park and ride proposed near the Veolia incinerator.

Last week, Sheffield City Council released a ‘strategic vision’ for the city centre, which included an ambition to ‘step up the calendar of events’ and increase the number of city center residents by 20,000 to over 60,000.

He says: “Sheffield has a vibrant and thriving popular cultural scene…this includes a particularly strong theatrical offering, as well as being well known for its musical heritage.

“There is also an opportunity to create a cultural anchor of national or international significance, which would boost the visitor economy.”

Bring me the horizon to Sheffield Arena.

Councilor Mazher Iqbal, executive member for business, said he had asked the officers to write a feasibility study.

He added: “There is so much going on, it would be a catalyst to bring it all together. We have one of the biggest groups of artists outside of London, but we don’t have enough space to showcase what they do.

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The Sheffield Steelers ice hockey team has just signed a contract for a further seven years, amid rising attendance. Photo: Dean Woolley

James C. Tibbs