Once, Sheffield was known for its steel production. The long flat Don valley was full of black chimneys and steel rolling mills; now it is home to the low elegant Meadowhall Centre. Although not the largest shopping mall in the country, Meadowhall is probably the busiest. It is about equidistant between Sheffield and Rotherham and draws customers from all across south Yorkshire.
The crescent shaped centre provides a wide range of shops featuring all the well known retail outlets. They radiate out from the “Oasis”, which is the open plan food area. All seating is arranged under a natural light dome, surrounded by columns. The various caterers are arranged around this court and the choice is very wide.
The 11 screen cinema, near Oasis, provides all day entertainment from around 10.00am. There are late night showings of some films at 11.00pm or later.
Throughout the year, there are plenty of entertainments for young visitors. The Tiger soft play area is available for 3-8 year olds. Arranged over three storeys, there is plenty of scope for working off excess energy in climbing, sliding, tunnelling, etc. There is a special, even softer, area for the under 3’s. When the weather is smiling, there is also an outdoor playground for all ages. The Talent Academy organises theatre and music events for older children. Budding talent can get a taste of real theatre activities and atmosphere.
Meadowhall has a particularly good environmental record. It recycles 97% of all waste generated on the premises. The other 3% is incinerated to provide heat and energy for the centre. With widespread harvesting of rain water and ground water from a bore hole, natural resources are re-used wherever possible.
Access to the centre is integral with the design. The M1 motorway, runs alongside the area; junction 34 brings vehicles to the many free car parks. For non-drivers there is a unique interchange linking rail with bus and tram facilities, all within the centre. There is even a helipad for the wealthier shopper to arrive at Meadowhall in some style!