Event Central: Cultural center gets green light in Sheffield as part of multi-million pound Fargate revamp

Sheffield City Council has announced that the planning application for Event Central – a mixed-use cultural community center on Fargate – has been approved.

Event Central is a regeneration project commissioned by Sheffield City Council and funded by the Future High Streets Fund, which will see the refurbishment of the existing vacant building at 20-26 Fargate. Formally used as a retail space on the ground floor, Event Central will see all five floors and the basement open up to create community and commercial space. It will be an opportunity to showcase Sheffield’s diverse talent with events, shows, exhibitions, workshops and lectures all under one roof, according to the council.

Councilor Mazher Iqbal, Co-Chair of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee, said: “The approval of the Event Central planning application is another exciting step in creating this dynamic and cultural space for residents of Sheffield. We know how much talent there is in our city and we are confident that Event Central will be the perfect place to showcase it, attracting thousands of visitors each year. This transformation will be a crucial part of our vision for Fargate and the whole city center – unlocking all the potential Sheffield has to offer.

Pictured is an artist’s impression of the interior of Fargate’s planned cultural hub, Events Central, in the city centre.

The mixed-use space will also benefit from coworking spaces with a cafe and juice bar and a 200-seat concert hall. Event Central is being funded by the government’s Future High Streets Fund following Sheffield City Council’s successful bid for £15.8million in funding in 2021, with plans expected to be delivered by March 2024.

As part of the larger Future High Streets Fund project, pocket parks will be introduced through Fargate. Sheffield City Council’s bid for the Future High Streets Fund has been backed by the University of Sheffield. These contributions included elements of the written bid as well as 3D modeled visuals of the proposals for Fargate and Event Central, developed by architecture and urban planning students.

Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Director of City and Culture at the University of Sheffield and member of the Stakeholder Panel of Sheffield’s Future High Street Fund, said: “Glad to hear that we are getting closer and closer from providing this vital event space for the city’s wonderfully creative artists to showcase their talents. The University of Sheffield has worked with several stakeholders and partners on behalf of the council to ensure that this prominent central space has the potential to benefit both the vibrancy of the city itself as well as the vibrancy of the cultural sector.

The board is looking for an operator committed to the development and management of Event Central, as well as the renovation of Fargate.

Pictured is an artist’s impression of Fargate’s planned cultural hub, Event Central, in the city centre.

A drop-in session will be held at Event Central on Thursday, October 20, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. to showcase the proposed plans for Fargate. The council is working with business partners on a ‘gateway plan’ to open up Fargate’s upper floors and increase and improve access to new homes and offices in key buildings.

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Artist’s impression of the planned entrance gate plan for Sheffield’s Fargate.

James C. Tibbs