The future of Walkley looks bright after plans for redevelopment were shown off at the community centre.
But it wasn’t just potential changes on display, the evening also highlighted what is great about the area.
“The aim is to showcase all the stuff going on in Walkley, with a view to promote it”, said Molly Taylor, a member of the group behind the work.
“We wanted to create a network because Walkley has loads and loads of things going on but what we got from all the information is that perhaps some of the communication between these places is not great, so we basically wanted to get everyone on the same page”, she added.
These sentiments have been echoed by members of the public. Hugh Waterhouse, a local resident, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many people here and to be making comments and to get an idea of all the things that go on in Walkley.
“I already had an idea that it’s quite a vibrant place at the moment but to see the evidence with all the things going on here is fantastic. I suppose when you’re in the middle of it you don’t really notice all the things that are happening.”
The evening was the result of a group of masters students from the University of Sheffield who contacted residents and business owners in the community to find out the key issues they felt needed addressing.
After finding out about people’s fond memories of the library, the team came up with a strategy to create a more flexible and resilient library.
This would include a communal space, where all are welcome, and offer Wi-Fi access as well as help for people who don’t have a lot of experience using the internet. These two aspects were highlighted because they were stand out points in the research carried out by the group.
Molly added: “We were trying to come up with a future vision because so many times in Walkley they’ve done surveys and asked how they can make the community better. We have taken all the surveys information and picked out the main points.
“This way we would find out what everyone thought of the plans and hopefully they will become points of discussion. Someone had gone to the trouble of collecting all the information, but no one had done anything with it until now.”
Tom Parker, another member of the group, said: “The hope for the plans that we have put forward today is that we get feedback from the public and collate that into a document that we want to give to the council through our clients at the library and community centre who have the power to do something with them.”
The plans went down well with residents in attendance with one man, Mathew Gilbert, labelling the plans “Thought provoking” and “good brain food”.
Mr Gilbert went on to add: “The good thing about today is that it moves you from the status quo to some possible future directions. That’s interesting because then you start thinking if this happens then other things can change too and that’s nice.”
Other potential plans included an art gallery, workshop space, increasing the number of independent shops on the high street and traffic calming solutions.