Sheffield’s £300m West Bar development hits major construction milestone

An official bolt tightening event has taken place to celebrate a major construction milestone in the first phase delivery of West Bar in Sheffield city centre.

West Bar is a £300 million, award-winning development that is transforming a strategically important gateway site in Sheffield to provide one million sq ft of mixed-use space. This includes 500,000 sq ft of new Grade A workspace, residential apartments, new high quality public realm, multi storey car parking, together with new retail and leisure uses. As well as providing much needed new housing, it will deliver the city’s largest office floorplates whilst supporting up to 8,000 new jobs.

Senior officials from project funder Legal & General visited the site to view progress on the steel frame superstructure for the first 100,000 sq ft office building, No.1 West Bar, which is expected to be completed by June 2024. Construction is also well underway for the two residential blocks to provide 368 build to rent apartments.

Urbo (West Bar) Ltd, a joint venture between Urbo Regeneration and Peveril Securities (the development arm of the Bowmer and Kirkland Group) secured £160 million of funding from Legal & General in the largest single city centre investment deal Sheffield has ever seen. It has awarded a £94 million construction contract to Bowmer & Kirkland to deliver the first phase to include West Bar Square, which will be the heart of the commercial public realm area and Soho Yard which will serve the residential BTR apartments.

As part of the agreed deal between Legal & General and Urbo, a second 100,000 sq ft office building will be delivered to follow No.1 West Bar Square. A new 450 space multi-storey car park is also part of the first phase with around 300 cycle storage spaces and electric car charging points. Connectivity into the surrounding walking and cycling routes is incorporated to encourage more sustainable travel.

Gordon Aitchison, Director of Investment and Development at Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets, commented:

“It’s fantastic to see such momentum at Sheffield West Bar as we continue in partnership with Urbo, Sheffield City Council, and the local community. The delivery of West Bar will provide a vibrant new quarter for the centre of Sheffield; bringing much-needed new homes, jobs, and regeneration. With the need for investment in our UK towns and cities ever-increasing, Legal & General remains committed to using dynamic partnerships to spark regeneration and secure the economic prosperity of socially important schemes.”

Peter Swallow, Managing Director at Urbo, said,

“We are delighted to reach this significant milestone at West Bar, a strategically important project that will heavily support job creation and economic growth for Sheffield City Region. It is incredible to witness how far Bowmer & Kirkland have progressed with three great structures already making a prominent stamp on the city skyline and even more exciting to realise that completion is just ten months away!”

The West Bar neighbourhood is prominently located on the Inner Ring Road between Sheffield’s Kelham Island, Cathedral and Castlegate Quarters.

The first building to be complete in June 2024 is No.1 West Bar Square, an impressive and sustainable gateway office building with a contemporary, curved, curtain glass façade. Designed by award winning architects 5plus with planning advice from Asteer Planning, it provides eight storeys of highly efficient floorplates up to 14,000 sq ft, a roof terrace offering panoramic views across the city and retail accommodation at ground floor.

Surrounding public realm, West Bar Square will become a landscaped focal point of the project whilst providing much needed amenity space for occupiers and the local community.

Soho Yard offers 368 residential apartments within two buildings situated around a landscaped space and gardens with access via Plum Lane. The properties will be delivered and operated by Legal & General as part of its highly successful ‘Build to Rent – Homes for Life’ portfolio. It sits on the site of the famous ‘Soho wheel’ that powered grinding machinery near the River Don after the Industrial Revolution.