Saturday, 23 January 2010

Meadowhall Shopping Centre, Sheffield, England

Meadowhall is an indoor shopping centre in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. It lies three miles (5 km) north east of Sheffield city centre and two miles (3 km) from Rotherham town centre.
Note that Meadowhall Retail Park is a separate development, also owned by British Land, lying 0.8 miles (1.29 kilometres) to the south of Meadowhall shopping centre in the Carbrook area of the city.
The shopping centre was built by Bovis on the site of a derelict steelworks. It was opened on 4 September 1990. With a floor area of 1,500,000 sq ft (139,355 m²), it is the sixth largest (second largest when first opened) shopping centre in the UK.
With over 280 stores, Meadowhall was widely blamed for the closure of many shops in Sheffield
City Centre and in Rotherham. Meadowhall has a retail floor space of about 131,922 m2 (1,419,997 sq ft) and is owned by British Land, a property developer. The centre attracted 19.8 million visitors in its first year of opening, and now attracts about 30 million visitors a year. Meadowhall can be extremely busy in the run-up to Christmas, and the January sales. In extreme cases this site of consumerism has been known to have a one in, one out policy at some stores. This has led to the centre earning the nickname Meadowhell among many local people.
One of Meadowhall's largest stores, Sainsbury's, closed in mid-2005, which diverted some customers to other local shopping areas. There was a Namco Station arcade which finally shut its doors in September 2007 after more than 15 years. In December 2005, it became the home to the fifth Apple Store in the UK, and in late 2007, it became home to the 3rd Puma Store in the UK after London and Glasgow. The centre was also home to the only McCafe in Yorkshire, but this has since closed. The centre's Burger King was replaced in October 2007 by a very small franchise called "Burger Knight", which has now closed.
Meadowhall was inundated by the River Don during the June 2007 floods, with water reaching a maximum height of 1.8 metres (6 ft). The Centre re-opened and trading commenced within 6 days, before fully relaunching in October 2007.
In May 2008, Meadowhall forcibly closed five stores in the Market Street area:
Pollard's Tea & Coffee
Crawshaw's Butchers
Massarella's Coffee
Burger Knight (a very small franchise which had replaced the centre's Burger King).
These closed so that the units they occupied could be merged into space for a large store. Although Meadowhall said that it had every right to close the stores because of break clauses in the leases, the move caused controversy because the stores had only recently re-opened after spending thousands on refurbishment, following the June 2007 floods (see below).
The centre includes over 280 stores and most are major high street stores such as Marks and Spencer, New Look, Debenhams, Primark, House of Fraser, Topshop, Boots and HMV and NEXT.
Oasis Food Court
The Oasis (pictured right) is the centre's food court which includes a variety of different food outlets and restaurants including McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, Harry Ramsden's and Nando's. The Oasis also has a multiplex VUE cinema. The "Oasis" was originally modelled on Orange Square in Marbella, Spain (though it has since been redesigned) with an extra floor openend with extra seating and outlets. There is also a section near The Oasis for small independent retailers, The Lanes.
On 13 October 2006, The Sheffield Telegraph announced that Meadowhall will undergo a £91 million refit, with completion due by Summer 2007. As part of this, Primark and Next moved into the space left by Sainsbury's when it closed in 2005. Other smaller outlets, including Optical
Express and The Pier have also opened in 2007.
Transport connections
Meadowhall is situated next to the M1 Motorway, between Sheffield and Rotherham, in the shadow of the Tinsley Viaduct. It forms the end of the Five Weir's Walk, an 8 km walk from the city centre.
Meadowhall also has a transport interchange which includes rail, bus and tram facilities, located at Meadowhall Interchange. It is surrounded on all the other sides by car parks and even has its own ring road. It is the only shopping centre in Britain that combines a bus, rail and tram interchange. The centre also has its own helipad located in the northern overflow carpark.
The Centre has won many awards, including two awards for innovative events at the ICSC maxi awards 2006, held in Chicago and two awards for its REtail Bonding Programme (in best Retail Partnership category) and also for its Commercialisation, (adding value to the customer shopping experience) at the BCSC Purple Apple Awards in London.
Environmental policy
The Centre recycles 97% of waste from retailers and customers, with the remaining three percent going to
incineration with energy recovery; no waste goes to landfill.
Meadowhall was the first UK shopping centre to develop an on-site recycling facility. The Resource Recovery Centre (RRC), which opened in 2006, operates a conveyor belt system to separate out the different types of waste, from paper to plastic, cardboard to cans.
Meadowhall began to harvest rainwater in 2006. Four giant water storage tanks collect rainwater and condensation from air conditioning. This is then used throughout the Shopping Centre for cleaning, flushing toilets and watering the external landscaped areas. The tanks are nearly 7 metres high and hold some 6,600 imperial gallons (30,000 l) of water each, which is the equivalent of 185 domestic baths. The water they collect would otherwise have gone down the drainage system, into the ground or been lost to the atmosphere through evaporation.
In 2008 Meadowhall installed a bore hole. This is a narrow shaft drilled into the ground that collects water from beneath the earth. Water from the bore hole is collected into a giant master tank, which remains at least 50% full at all times. All the storage tanks are connected onto a "network", which will ensure 90-95% of all water used by customers and retailers for flushing toilets is derived from rainwater harvesting or bore hole water.