Meadowhall logo
Meadowhall Shopping Complex - - 1194733.jpg
Aerial view of Meadowhall
LocationSheffield, South Yorkshire, England
Coordinates53°24′52″N 1°24′39″W / 53.414430°N 1.410949°W / 53.414430; -1.410949Coordinates: 53°24′52″N 1°24′39″W / 53.414430°N 1.410949°W / 53.414430; -1.410949
Opening date4 September 1990; 32 years ago (1990-09-04)
OwnerBritish Land (50%)
Government Pension Fund of Norway (50%)
No. of stores and services280
No. of anchor tenants10
Total retail floor area1,500,000 sq ft (139,355 m2)
No. of floors2
Parking12,000 spaces[1]
Public transit accessMeadowhall Interchange

Meadowhall is an indoor shopping centre in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. It lies 3 miles (5 km) north-east of Sheffield city centre, and 2 miles (3 km) from Rotherham town centre. It is the largest shopping centre in Yorkshire, and currently the eleventh-largest in the United Kingdom. As of 2021, plans for an extension are currently under consideration, for completion in the 2020s, which would make Meadowhall the fourth-largest shopping centre in the United Kingdom.

Architecturally, the original construction of Meadowhall in the early 1990s was inspired by the Place d'Orléans shopping centre in Ottawa, Canada. The Meadowhall Retail Park is a separate development, owned by British Land, lying almost 1 mile (1.6 km) to the south of Meadowhall shopping centre in the Carbrook area of the city.


Meadowhall interior before refurbishment
Meadowhall interior before refurbishment

The shopping centre was built by Bovis[2] on the site previously occupied by Hadfields' East Hecla steelworks.

The centre was opened on 4 September 1990. With a floor area of 139,355 m2 (1,500,005 sq ft), it is the eleventh-largest (second-largest when first opened) shopping centre in the UK. It is similar in concept to the Merry Hill Shopping Centre at Brierley Hill in the West Midlands, which was completed just before Meadowhall.[3]

With over 280 stores, Meadowhall has been widely blamed for the closure of shops in both Sheffield City Centre, and Rotherham town centre.[4] Meadowhall is owned by British Land, a property developer. The centre attracted 19.8 million visitors in its first year of opening, and now attracts about 30 million visitors a year.[4]

One of Meadowhall's largest stores of the past, Sainsbury's on Market Street (originally branded SavaCentre in the 1990s) closed in July 2005 and was replaced by new Next and Primark stores in the summer of 2007. Sainsbury's store relocated to Crystal Peaks. There was a Namco Station arcade in The Oasis food court which closed in September 2007 after more than 15 years at the shopping centre. December 2005 saw Meadowhall become home to the fifth Apple Store in the UK, and in late 2007 it gained the third Puma Store in the UK, after London and Glasgow. The centre was also home to the only McCafé in Yorkshire,[5] which has been replaced with a franchise called ‘Love Koffee’. The centre's Burger King which was located on Market Street got replaced by a small franchise called ‘Burger Knight’ in October 2007 when it reopened after the 2007 floods. The small franchise, along with Greggs, Massarella's Coffee, Crawshaws Butchers and Pollard's Tea and Coffee were forcibly shut in May 2008, only had just recently spent thousands of pounds on refurbishment after the 2007 floods - these stores were closed down so Meadowhall could create larger stores which are now occupied by Love Aroma, Game, Garage Shoes, Quiz and Yours Clothing.

In October 2012, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) announced that the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global had bought 50 percent of the UK shopping centre Meadowhall for £348 million, or approximately 3.2 billion Norwegian kroner.[6]

In 2014, the mall ‘Park Lane’ was refurbished in the style of a "boutique arcade". In 2017, Park Lane was modernised during the 2015-2017 £60 million refurbishment, and is now seen as the most upmarket area of Meadowhall, with stores such as Pretty Green, Flannels, Hugo Boss, White Stuff and Yo! Sushi.

2015–2017 refurbishment

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Interior of Meadowhall post-refurbishment
Interior of Meadowhall post-refurbishment

Meadowhall celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015, and announced in the same year a £60 million interior refurbishment to make it fit with newer centres opened since 1990.[7] The refurbishment allowed some retailers to install double-height shop fronts. The first phase was completed in April 2017 and the second phase was completed in November 2017[8] with most of the work being done when after hours so as not to disrupt shopping, each area of Meadowhall has been themed to fit a certain style. After the closure of the BHS branch in August 2016, it was announced that Primark would be expanding its store into half of the vacant store, with Sports Direct taking up the other half, and that Wilko would be moving into the store already taken up by Sports Direct; this was completed in March 2018.[9] The House of Fraser store has also been refurbished along with the centre, as well as Apple, AllSaints, Yo! Sushi, Hollister, Schuh, JD Sports and the opening of new stores such as Tag Heuer, Flannels, Joe Browns, Skinny Dip and River Island Children making the centre being perceived as more "upmarket".[9] Restaurants such as Handmade Burger Co and Pizza Express in the Oasis Dining quarter have also been refurbished with a new Gourmet Burger Kitchen, however this has since closed.

Scenes from the music video of the Sheffield-based duo Moloko's first single "Fun For Me" were shot in the Oasis area of the shopping centre.[10]


In May 2012, British Land announced that planning permission had been sought to provide a 52,000 sq ft (4,800 m2) retail extension to Meadowhall on adjacent land, the plans however were not approved.[11] In December 2014, a new Next home store and a Costa Coffee drive-thru was opened on the land next to Meadowhall where the extension was to be built. The Next home store came after IKEA had originally had plans to build a store close to Meadowhall however Next won the bid to build on the land instead. A new IKEA store however began being built on land next to Meadowhall retail park in August 2016. The store opened on 28 September 2017.

In October 2016, it was announced plans had been put forward for a £300 million leisure extension to be built with a new cinema to replace the Vue in the Oasis, a bowling arcade, trampoline park, new restaurants, shops and a garden terrace along with a new multi-storey car park to replace the old one the extension would be built upon. In June 2017, the plan was scaled down by reducing the size of the new cinema and removing a food store. Sheffield city council gave planning permission to the development in September 2017. The extension was scheduled to be completed by 2021–2022, however in November 2018 construction had not yet began and it was announced that the plans for the extension were to be revised with a new plan hoped to be drawn up in the second quarter of 2019.[12] In May 2020, British Land said the extension was unlikely to go ahead due to the uncertain times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.[13] New plans for the extension were unveiled in July of the same year and include a temporary leisure park on the site of the M1 distribution centre; the new cinema was also taken out of the new plans however the current Vue cinema would be refurbished.[citation needed]

Flooding incidents

Meadowhall was inundated by the River Don during the June 2007 floods, with water peaking at 1.8 metres (6 ft). The worst affected areas were between Market Street and The Arcade. Meadowhall reopened six days after a big cleanup operation and trading recommenced on the upper level. The majority of shops on the ground floor were boarded up for weeks on end (some for up to two months) so the interiors could be refitted - the centre fully relaunched in late September 2007. Meadowhall has since installed flood gates, to prevent this from happening in the future.

Meadowhall was also affected by the November 2019 floods on Thursday 7 November, the same night as the annual Christmas Light Switch-on. Although the event was cancelled, many people had already begun to travel for the performances. Once people had arrived public transport was already cancelled, affecting people all over South Yorkshire. With conditions growing worse across the area, many shops and businesses began to close, with a number of people being left stranded in the Meadowhall premises until the following morning. The shopping centre itself was not flooded internally during the November 2019 floods, as improved flood defences and barriers had been installed since the previous events of 2007.


The main Meadowhall structure is divided into multiple sections, each with a distinct identity.

High Street

The High Street section is occupied by lower-cost shops and essentials services, such as banks and bureau de change.[14]

The Arcade

The Arcade is the central section, containing more upmarket shops.[14]

Park Lane

Modelled as a boutique shopping space, Park Lane is home to more expensive shops and services.[14]

The Gallery

The Gallery is home to many lower-cost high street shops. It contains 5 of the centres 9 anchor tenants including the high-street fashion chains Next, Primark, New Look and H&M as well as the sports retailers Sports Direct and USC.[14]

The Oasis

The dedicated food court and leisure space. The downstairs area consists of mainly takeout restaurants, while the upstairs area consists of sit-down restaurants. [14]

The Lanes

Adjacent to the Oasis, the Lanes is a small shopping section home to 20 small, independent and specialty shops.[14]

Oasis Dining Quarter and cinema

The Oasis food court before it was refurbished
The Oasis food court before it was refurbished

The Oasis Dining Quarter is Meadowhall's food court which has food outlets and seating on both floors. The ground floor contains mostly fast food outlets including McDonald's, KFC, Subway, Pizza Hut, Five Guys and Barburrito but includes restaurants Nando's, Harvester and a Wetherspoons. The upper floor consists mostly of restaurants including Tapas Revolution, Frankie & Benny's, Coal Grill And Bar, PizzaExpress, Wagamama, Handmade Burger Co, Zizzi and T.G.I. Fridays. In July 2011 following the opening of T.G.I. Fridays, the food court underwent a £7 million redevelopment which saw it re-branded from 'Oasis Food Court', to 'Oasis Dining Quarter'.[15] Restaurants such as Las Iguanas, CiaoBaby and Giraffe were added as part of the redevelopment.[16]

Vue cinema

The dining quarter includes an eleven screen Vue multiplex cinema. It opened as a Warner Bros Theatre in 1993, before becoming a Warner Village Cinema and was rebranded Vue as part of their takeover of the chain in 2004. The cinema was refurbished after the 2007 flooding.

Transport connections

Meadowhall has a public transport interchange, Meadowhall Interchange, making it the only shopping centre in the UK that combines a bus, rail and tram interchange as well as making the centre accessible to both the local region and the rest of the country.

Meadowhall Interchange railway platforms
Meadowhall Interchange railway platforms


The centre is located at junction 34 of the M1 motorway.

Sheffield Supertram

Meadowhall is served by two stops on the Sheffield Supertram network; the Yellow Line terminus at Meadowhall Interchange is located to the north of the shopping centre, while Tinsley / Meadowhall South tram stop is located to the south of the shopping centre and is served by the Yellow Line and tram-train services to Rotherham Parkgate.

Meadowhall Interchange tram stop is located 15 minutes from the city centre and Meadowhall is used as a park and ride. The Yellow Line from Meadowhall passes the Sheffield Arena, Ice Sheffield, the Institute Of Sport and the Valley Centertainment entertainment complex.


The interchange has a large bus station with routes covering most of South Yorkshire, but especially the local Sheffield and Rotherham area.


There is a multi-platform railway station at Meadowhall which has frequent links to and from Doncaster, Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester.[17]


The centre has won awards, including two awards for innovative events at the ICSC maxi awards 2006, held in Chicago[18] and two awards for its Retail Bonding Programme (in best Retail Partnership category) and also for its commercialisation, (adding value to the customer shopping experience) at the BCSC Purple Apple Awards in London.[19]

Environmental policy

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The centre recycles 97% of waste from retailers and customers, with the remaining three percent going to incineration with energy recovery; no waste goes to landfill.

Meadowhall was the first UK shopping centre to develop an on-site recycling facility. The Resource Recovery Centre, which opened in 2006, operates a conveyor belt system to separate out types of waste, from paper to plastic, cardboard to cans.

Meadowhall began to harvest rainwater in 2006. Four water storage tanks collect rainwater and condensation from air conditioning. This is then used throughout the Shopping Centre for cleaning, flushing toilets and watering the external landscaped areas. The tanks are nearly 7 metres high and can hold 6,600 imperial gallons (30,000 L) of water each.

In 2008, Meadowhall installed a bore hole. This is a narrow shaft drilled into the ground that collects water from beneath the earth. Water from the bore hole is collected into a master tank. The storage tanks are connected onto a "network", which will ensure 90-95% of all water used by customers and retailers for flushing toilets is derived from rainwater harvesting or bore hole water.

Facial recognition trial

In 2018, Meadowhall was the site of a month-long police trial of facial recognition software by South Yorkshire Police, without the public's knowledge. In August 2019, a spokeswoman for British Land, Meadowhall's owner, said, "Over a year ago we conducted a short trial at Meadowhall, in conjunction with the police, and all data was deleted immediately after the trial". Big Brother Watch's chief executive Silkie Carlo was reported by the BBC as saying, "There is an epidemic of facial recognition in the UK. The collusion between police and private companies in building these surveillance nets around popular spaces is deeply disturbing".[20]


  1. ^ "More about Meadowhall". Meadowhall Centre. Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  2. ^ "SED 2011 | Rockingham Motor Speedway, 17th - 19th May 2011". 19 May 2011. Archived from the original on 26 July 2009. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  3. ^ Williams, Jeremy J. (31 December 1991). "Meadowhall: ITS Impact on Sheffield City Centre and Rotherham". International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management. 19. doi:10.1108/EUM0000000002940. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  4. ^ a b "How Has Sheffield City Centre Changed Since The Development Of Meadowhall". Archived from the original on 17 April 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  5. ^ "Meadowhall: A fairytale castle to consumerism". Where I Live South Yorkshire. BBC. Archived from the original on 10 December 2004. Retrieved 22 August 2008.
  6. ^ "Fund buys 50 percent of Meadowhall Shopping Centre in the UK - Norges Bank". Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  7. ^ "Meadowhall's £60m makeover starts today". The Star. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  8. ^ "£60m Meadowhall refurbishment completed after two years". Retail Gazette. Retail Gazette. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  9. ^ a b "£60m Meadowhall refurbishment completed after two years - Retail Gazette". Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  10. ^ "14 things you never knew about Meadowhall". Sheffield Telegraph. 12 May 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  11. ^ "Insider News Yorkshire – Meadowhall extension plans move forward". 21 May 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  12. ^ "Meadowhall shopping centre £50m refurbishment". BBC News. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  13. ^ Pitcher, Greg (31 May 2020). "British Land rethinks BDP's £300m Meadowhall extension". Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Mall Guide | Meadowhall – Leading Shopping Venue in Sheffield". Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  15. ^ "Home". Meadowhall. Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  16. ^ "Home". Meadowhall. Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  17. ^ Thales. "Live Departure Boards - National Rail Enquiries". Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  18. ^ "Home". Meadowhall. Archived from the original on 6 December 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  19. ^ "Home". Meadowhall. Archived from the original on 6 December 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  20. ^ "Facial recognition test run on unwitting shoppers". BBC News. 16 August 2019. Retrieved 17 August 2019.