PICTURES: Â£60 million revamp of Meadowhall completed - and here's what it looks like
A huge two-year Â£60 million refurbishment of Meadowhall has officially been completed.
The shopping centre has been brought bang up to date with the biggest overhaul since its opening nearly three decades ago - with a further Â£40 million being spent on more than 70 store upgrades during the project.
The combined investment of Â£100m by joint owners British Land and a string of big name retailers has already had a positive impact, with footfall on Black Friday up by 8% - making it the busiest on record.
The overhaul includes the creation of four distinct shopping districts, lighter and brighter malls with new glazing, lighting and furniture, a raft of new stores and redesigns and an increase in size of several existing shops.
Centre director Darren Pearce said: "Meadowhall is now an even better place, with a much improved environment, an even more appealing offer and a more enjoyable, engaging experience for our customers.
"The feedback we have already received is overwhelmingly positive.
"As a team, we have long thought the investment was transforming Meadowhall, but are delighted sentiment is now being echoed by our customers, retailers and restaurants.
"Just as important, however, is the difference the investment has made to the community, with employment being focused on the local area via The Source and so many businesses in the area benefitting.
"Without doubt, this two-year project has brought Meadowhall and Sheffield closer together, which can only be a good thing for the long-term future of the Sheffield City Region."
Highlights of the revamp include:
* The creation of four shopping districts, each with a distinctive character
* Columns and bulkheads have been reduced or removed creating lighter, brighter malls with new glazing, improved lighting and new customer seating
* Double height flagship formats introduced by brands including All Saints and Hollister
* New brands including the first ever physical store for online retailer Joe Browns as well as Michael Kors, Flannels, Urban Decay, Skinny Dip, Tag Heuer, iSmash, Diesel, Joules, Jack Wills, Neal's Yard, Nespresso, T2, schuh Kids, Pret a Manger, GBK, Barburrito and Tapas Revolution
* Upsizing by Primark, River Island, Sports Direct, Build-A-Bear, JD Sports, Virgin Holidays and The Entertainer
* Redesigns by existing stores including House Of Fraser, Marks and Spencer, Yo! Sushi, Timberland, Ted Baker and Molton Brown.
Charles Maudsley, head of retail, leisure and residential for British Land said: "The transformation we have achieved at Meadowhall is a great example of how we have listened to our customers and responded to their needs to create space that works for shoppers and enables retailers to thrive in an omni-channel world."
Claire Barber, head of Meadowhall for British Land, said: "Meadowhall is a very different place as a result of our investment. It is lighter and brighter, the space is more modern and the offer is significantly enhanced so it is the first choice for shoppers across the region."
The refurbishment will be followed by the development of Leisure Hall, which was granted planning consent in September. The Â£300m extension will add 330,000 sq ft of new catering and leisure to Meadowhall and will create 1,550 new jobs.