West Bar, the £300 million, mixed use regeneration project underway in Sheffield, has won a national award for its progress in transforming a major part of the city centre.

Urbo (West Bar) Ltd, a joint venture between Urbo Regeneration and Peveril Securities, was recognised, alongside Sheffield City Council, at the EG Awards in London for completing a ground-breaking deal to secure £150 million funding from Legal & General, enabling delivery of the first phase of West Bar.

The EG Awards is the biggest and most prestigious annual event for the UK real estate industry, celebrating the very best deals, developments, businesses, talent, and places. The Best Regional Deal category recognises projects that could not only show high returns but were innovative in bringing life back to our regions. The panel of highly regarded expert judges said that Urbo impressed them for the scale of investment it was able to secure for its city, as well as being a catalyst for huge redevelopment and changing of place.

West Bar has received three awards so far in 2023. In May The Yorkshires Commercial Real Estate Awards 2023 recognised West Bar as a key ‘disruptor’ in commercial real estate, commending the unwavering commitment of the joint venture team in putting the development together, evolving the masterplan and driving the design and assembly of a commercially viable site, despite difficult macroeconomic conditions.

The Judges at the annual Yorkshire Insider Property Awards last month also rewarded West Bar for Property Deal of the Year saying that the development will be transformative for Sheffield.

The funding deal secured with Legal & General for West Bar is the largest single city centre investment deal that Sheffield has ever seen. It enables delivery of the first phase comprising 100,000 sq ft of Grade A office space, 368 Build to Rent residential apartments, a 450 space multistorey car park and considerable new public realm. Construction is progressing apace on site with completion due by mid-2024.

West Bar as a whole is a £300 million regeneration scheme on a 7-acre brownfield site on the Inner Ring Road between Sheffield’s Kelham Island, Cathedral and Castlegate Quarters. It is to comprise one million sq ft of space including over 565,000 sq ft of office accommodation with amenity, public realm and over 525 apartments. The project expects to create up to 8,000 new jobs when completed.

Peter Swallow, Managing Director at Urbo, said, “We are thrilled to receive recognition from our peers, both nationally and regionally, for what we have achieved in bringing our vision for West Bar to reality. It is testament to the conviction of our own team, Sheffield City Council, Legal & General and our professional advisors that have worked tirelessly over ten years to make the scheme commercially viable and deliverable.

“These many years of assembly work involved detailed negotiation with landowners and tenants of 103 separate property titles within the development boundary. The team secured alternative and improved premises for these occupiers such that zero jobs were lost and a full compulsory purchase process, including a full CPO Public Inquiry to ultimately secure 100% freehold ownership with vacant possession, paved the way for our deal with Legal & General. This is a rare and excellent example of best practice approach to area-wide urban regeneration.”

Ralph Jones of Peveril Securities added,“This landmark funding deal and the start of construction on the first phase, with completion expected in 2024, has established West Bar as a regionally important large-scale regeneration project for Sheffield. This was completed against the odds and after many years of careful work at a time of unprecedented economic challenge.
Cllr Ben Miskell, Chair of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee, said:

“It is fantastic to see that one of the exciting regeneration schemes we are undertaking in Sheffield at West Bar is now being celebrated at a national level. This award proves how important long-term partnerships between the Council, private sector developers and major funding institutions such as Legal & General are and what can be achieved as a result. Construction is progressing quickly on site for this project, bringing together communities in Kelham and the rest of the city centre, and we are looking forward to seeing even more changes in the coming months.”

Gordon Aitchison, director of investment and development at Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets, commented, “We're delighted to have been awarded The Best Regional Deal at the EG awards. Sheffield West Bar is a stellar example of what can come as a result of meaningful, proactive partnerships; as we continue to work alongside Urbo and Sheffield City Council, we look forward to delivering a vibrant new quarter for the centre of Sheffield.”