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Next to Sheffield’s riverside and main shopping centre, Love Square is located in the historical and industrial heartland of the city. Named after adjacent Love Street, which in turn was named after a local industrialist, this space was an entertainment hub in the early 20th century, but later became a bus and tram interchange, until its closure in the 1980s and subsequent fall into dereliction.
Grow Wild plans
Love Square will be a new kind of nature park challenging the idea that wild flower and native plant landscapes are not suitable for urban locations. Its strong design will feature meadows, lawns, a rain garden, woodland ‘edge’, eco-sculptures and a converted shipping container community cafe; drawing on the expertise of Professors Nigel Dunnett and James Hitchmough, who were responsible for the wild flower meadows of London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
It is located as the hub of another Sheffield project: Grey to Green, which will transform 1.3km of a redundant dual carriageway into a green cycle and pedestrian route. At each end will be Grow Wild Hotspots, signalling the way to Love Square: one at the Ponds Forge Roundabout; a visible gateway to the city and the other at Furnace Hill; one of Sheffield’s earliest and most important industrial areas.
Together it is hoped Love Square and the Hotspots will bring significant benefits. They will be much-needed spaces for the communities of Park Hill and Wybourn, for local charities including Autism Plus, for young people seeking learning and training opportunities and will encourage new investment.