Saturday October 22nd 2016

Keeping the city Alive After 5

A CAMPAIGN to keep the streets of Sheffield city centre Alive after 5 will soon start, thanks to businesses working together with Sheffield Business Improvement District (BID).

Sh5bfe3f15-ac99-4a01-a53a-f9a809a52eeceffield is recognised for its great music, bars and restaurants – and many of the centre’s retailers already open their doors until 6pm – but now a centrally co-ordinated campaign aims to build on this and create a more vibrant early evening experience for employees, residents and visitors.

Over the next few years the BID will be working with business, tourism and leisure to drive the city’s early evening economy forward – with Thursday October 27 seeing the beginning of the campaign.

Manager Diane Jarvis says: “The BID’s ambition is to bring about a long-term improvement in the economy by promoting a different sort of evening experience, such as events and street animation, combined with joint promotion of a new evening “offer” between retailers, restaurant operators and entertainment providers.

“Sheffield is one of the few cities in the UK that does not have a late shopping night and all the evidence suggests that cities that embrace late night shopping benefit from increased footfall and spend.”

The first phase of the campaign will see a number of national retailers and independents extend their Thursday opening hours until 7pm to help change perceptions that the city centre closes down at 5pm.

ne says: “We have been recruiting businesses to the cause on the first steps of the journey to help develop Sheffield’s early evening experience.

“We have been talking to businesses over the past months about how we can work together to provide better value and choice for the people of Sheffield and to boost the economy too.

“We know it will take time and this is just the start – but the reaction from many businesses has been really positive. And we urge any businesses in the city centre that are not already involved, but would like to be, to get in touch.”

Diane said it was not just about retailers staying open longer but also restaurants, bars and leisure providers working collectively to create a real “socialising” atmosphere.

“This is about us all working together to create a real city centre early evening vibrancy which we will all benefit from. We don’t want people to rush home straight after work – we want them to enjoy the city centre with their colleagues and friends!

“There are so many exciting things in store for Sheffield – the opening of the new Primark store on The Moor this month, the new Light Cinema next year and all the developments in the Sheffield Retail Quarter. These are all great building blocks for the future.”

Here is what some of the businesses already signed up to Alive after 5 on Thursdays have to say:

  • Adrian Bagnoli, co-owner of Cubana Tapas Bar and Restaurant and BID board member: “AliveAfter5 gives us the chance to create an early evening ambience and bring an additional buzz into the city centre which people will want to be part of. We’ve got such a highly regarded independent offering across the food and drink sector in Sheffield, and together with the addition of several quality well-known brands in recent months, we can cumulatively make Sheffield a top destination in future years.”
  • Lucy King, store manager at Marks and Spencer, Fargate: “This is an exciting first step to encourage people back into the city centre in the early evenings to enjoy everything it has to offer – great shops, bars, restaurants and leisure activities. It’s really important that the city’s retailers work together for the good of the city and its continuing regeneration so I hope more and more get behind the campaign.”
  • Karl Hallam, the owner and optometrist at CrossEyes opticians, Devonshire Street, said: “Many of our customers are students or work 9am to 5pm office hours, so for them this presents a great opportunity to come and pick their spectacles after work instead of having to come into the city on the weekend.”
  • Nicole Jewitt, AltSeenEye, Charles Street, said: “Looking forward to being Alive After 5 on Thursdays from the end of October!”

Some of the first city centre stores now signed up for Thursday night opening until at least 7pm include:

A New Shop, All Good Stuff art gallery, Alt Seen Eye, Argos, Boots, Cross Eyes, HMV, Hotel Chocolat, Holland and Barrett (The Moor), Lush, Marks and Spencer, Melody Couture, Office, Pandora, Paperchase, Ryman Stationery, Thorntons, Three, Top Shop, Vulgar and Within Reason. Nottingham Building Society and HSBC will join the campaign early in November.

Retailers currently open until at least 7pm on a Thursday include:

Budgens, Caffe Nero, The Co-operative Food, Costa Coffee, Greggs, H&M, Oisoi Oriental Food Market, McDonalds, Patisserie Valerie, Poundland, Primark, Sainsbury’s Local, Specsavers, Starbucks, Subway, Tesco Express, TK Maxx, Virgin Money.

Look out for #SheffAfter5 to find out more about the new early evening buzz planned for Sheffield.

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