Retail Quarter plans hit the right note for Tolga

27th May 2015

An internationally recognised award winning music composer and conductor has backed exciting plans for Sheffield's Retail Quarter.

Tolga Kashif was in the city to learn more about proposals from the Sheffield Retail Development Group which include an anchor store and shops as well as offices, restaurants and bars plus a cultural and open space area. The plans are in response to the City Council seeking to engage with a strategic development partner to help deliver the new retail quarter in the heart of the city centred on the area bordered by Pinstone Street, Barker's Pool and Moorhead. Mr Kashif is a high profile figure in the music sector with credits ranging from the platinum selling single Perfect Day, television dramas and animations. He is a composer and conductor for many Classical works including the chart-topping Queen Symphony with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and The Genesis Suite with the London Symphony Orchestra. He heads a team of composers, producers, sound engineers at Lightsong which has an extensive track record across a wide range of musical genres. Credits include many award winning film, television and advertising scores. The team is currently engaged in a wide range of commissions, productions and development projects in collaboration with industry partners. He said: -I am excited by the plans from the Group. It has fired my enthusiasm as to what can be achieved in Sheffield for music and culture using a city centre retail landscape. I intend to spend more time in the city understanding and developing the potential of this concept, which provides opportunities in engagement for education and the arts. Along with his friend South Yorkshire-born Lesley Garrett, Tolga is a patron of the registered charity, Future Talent. This organisation strives for the high prioritisation of music in Primary schools across the UK -I will be talking to colleagues at Future Talent and appraising them of the potential of the Sheffield plans. It is great to see this retail vision for Sheffield, using the city centre to engage with the community not only through a new retail offer but through a cultural offering which could provide a real legacy for the city. -We are delighted that Tolga has taken such a keen interest in our plans, said Group spokesman John Crowther. -The redevelopment is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we believe with the support of individuals such as Tolga that we can offer a unique , enjoyable and sustainable city centre, added Mr Crowther, a former chief executive of Vickers Defence Systems and well-known in Sheffield for his work with the Sheffield City Trust, where he was a non-executive director for four years. Meanwhile SRDG is pressing on with its consultation process having recently held two public meetings to seek views on how the city centre could be transformed into a place that: Meets the current and future needs of visitors Provides a vibrant and sustainable experience Underpins economic growth Gives the centre a distinctive identity Adds to the already cultural wealth of the city Is accessible to all the citizens of Sheffield. A website www.sheffieldshines.com/consult has been specifically set up to get the views of the Sheffield public regarding the city centre. The proposals from SRDG made up of a group of Sheffield business people - are benefitting from the expertise from international organisations including architects and master planners Chapman Taylor, leading UK property consultants Central Retail and UK property and infrastructure advisors Capita. Mr Crowther, who confirmed that SRDG had been involved in informal discussions with Sheffield City Council for more than a year, said: -We have significant financial backing and the passion of a local team to see the transformation of the city centre with a development by the end of 2018 - a year ahead of the city council's proposed timescale.

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