I listen, I watch, I give my own opinions.
There is a whisper that New River, owner of The Moor, might be in talks with Sheffield City Council about purchasing the Moorfoot building. This ties in with the council’s Strategic Vision document that suggests the area will be targeted at young professionals and promoted as a ‘prime location for city core living’.
“The future of the Moorfoot Building itself (adaptation or replacement) is currently being considered’ due to the emergence of hybrid working.”
Eleven storeys high, with stepped levels across east, west, and north wings, it was built for the Manpower Services Commission which occupied it from 1981. It was here that the infamous Youth Training Scheme (YTS) was instigated, before being used by other Government agencies. The council bought it in the late 2000s.
Will Moorfoot be demolished and replaced?
I think there will be obstacles in the way of demolition, not least from architectural experts who regard the building as a Brutalist landmark. Don’t be surprised if there is an application to get it listed.
It might also seem a waste of money for Sheffield City Council to spend a fortune buying and renovating Moorfoot, and then spend even more money to relocate departments elsewhere. But stranger things have happened.
I don’t think the Moorfoot building will disappear, although there might be an opportunity to demolish the indoor car park attached to it. Much more likely is that the block of shops, and hospitality venues bordering Moorfoot, Hereford Street, South Lane, and Cumberland Street, will go instead. This would provide an ideal public space, paving the way for the Moorfoot building to be converted to residential (think of The Barbican in London).
And don’t forget that the former Office Outlet/Theatre Deli block is earmarked to be replaced by Lidl.
A lot of speculation and perhaps wide of the mark, but extremely interesting.
© 2022 David Poole. All Rights Reserved