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This was a well worn track - contrasting Parkhill as it is now with the surrounding area and its evolution from (Tory) politically motivated disinvested social housing to 1/3 social housing 2/3 private mix in Ph1 to all private in Ph2 + Beton house students- and an array of successful - some international- businesses on the ground floors. The local community the residents have moved into is well established, amazing. The Parkhill book club meets at the local Labour club. The PH FB page highlights the community activism and charities regularly, the residents had a boo for Boris regularly during the pandemic and a road is named after a community activist.

What the article does miss completely, when talking about Nest is that it is a Sheffield- born internet web based phenomenon- a corner shop which started on Ecclesall road . I know this as the owner had a ‘sell all’ auction-style closing down sale. I bought a rug ( ethically made) with 70% off it and it’s the most admired thing I have, surrounded as it is by second hand furniture.

The Nest showroom used to be almost invisible off the parkway in a warehouse near Costco- an ‘inoffensive’ location? It has chosen it’s new showroom to sit in the front of beautiful Parkhill- to represent it’s brand and hopefully continue to bring good jobs to Sheffield/ South Yorkshire . As high streets die, a successful internet presence is essential so showrooms are just that- to showcase something different. TBH, I see it as our own internationally renowned living furniture museum/ showplace - and it chose Sheffield and not Leeds, York or Harrogate…It will be paying local taxes- unlike most of the businesses delivering parcels everyday…

Ponsfords in Heeley has also somehow managed to survive with its huge range of furniture- much of which is also out of reach, except in sales, for the local residents there - and at one point was the biggest local employer in that area too.

Neither Ponsfords nor Nest are Ikea - but you’ll notice as a resident that Ikea furniture is the most commonly given away as people move on… Nest & Ponsfords are a couple of the very few remaining Sheffield based furniture emporia.

I note insta highlights a 40% outlet sale at Nest currently- these happen regularly…

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Thanks for your comment Caroline. Yes, I know Nest is a Sheffield firm so maybe I should have mentioned that. The point of this piece was not to criticise anyone who lives here now, just to point out that there are tensions between what it was and what it is now. I think the current residents (me included) and Urban Splash need to be a bit wary of it becoming too exclusive.

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Apr 9, 2023·edited Apr 9, 2023Liked by Dan Hayes

There are so many misconceptions about Parkhill! Am a new Resident here, there were Help to Buy Schemes with flats from £140,000 comparable to Nether edge where I moved from. Nest is such a good fit here celebrating all things Design, i believe they bought their premises which shows a real commitment. They're a Sheffield Business as is Warp, the Filmmakers who also choose to be based at Parkhill. We're not far from the Cultural Quarter. South Street Kitchen is another Sheffield Business, most coffee costs more than £2 these days, am going to challenge Dave on that! There is far more expensive furniture in Ponsfords by the way! I get what you're saying Dan about Poverty, cost of Living Crisis, gentrification etc, but Dave Watkins himself says Parkhill is constantly evolving. Am not a buyer of designer stuff myself but dont begrudge folk that are. Prefer a high-end furniture shop than a vape store! Have made links with S2 Foodbank as a Resident of Parkhill, there is a donations tin & standing order forms in the Urban Splash Sales Office and we'll hopefully hv a drop-off place in Parkhill Provisions for food donations soon. I invited the Food Pantry to hv a stall at our Residents Summer Party, lovely Tracy came, I hvn't seen this divide personally. Folk that used to live here will obviously have a different perspective. Hv befriended a resident who was born here, has lived here all his life, he has the best stories!

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Thanks for your comment Naomi. I wouldn’t want people to think this is a criticism of anyone at Park Hill. It’s just a piece about the way it has changed and the tension that has created between what it is now and what it was originally built to do. And like I say, I’m part of that process too.

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Got to say it, the article seemed like tabloid clickbait, I felt bad for Nest as our new neighbours being pitched against the Food Pantry. There's a place for Class War, the Politics of Envy etc, I'll buy the Morning Star for that! Nothing against the Morning Star btw, have friends that sell it. ParkHill Residents get a 15% discount in Nest btw, am proud to hv them there.

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I’m sorry Naomi but calling my nuanced and thoughtful piece “tabloid clickbait” is insane. I get that it’s not nice to think you are part of gentrification. But calling a thoughtful piece of journalism “class war” and the “politics of envy” sounds like something the Tories would say. People need to learn to be a bit more critical of themselves.

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Btw, just to clarify, the heading was clickbait to me, it could hv read Parkhill welcomes a Sheffield Business, a quote from the Food Pantry saying it's grotesque, all felt very tabloid & emotive. You may hv inadvertently sowed division. Again I understand the issues you were trying to address, I think about them often. I helped with the Cafe at the Library, it helps combat loneliness & brings our Community together. I believe that when they know Nest is a local Sheffield Business providing employment they will think differently. 🙏

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Point taken. It was nuanced but so much focus on the price of the furniture, couldn't see the point in that, it sort of misses the point, felt it was too easy a target. Am far from being a Tory, my framed letter from Jeremy Corbyn is testament to that.

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Apr 8, 2023Liked by Dan Hayes

The development as a whole is expensive, the apartments are extremely pricey and not affordable to most working people, along with the food cost at south street, so what difference does having a luxury furniture store, a store which appears to be selling craftsmanship, and quality along with supporting the ever growing sustainability trend.

I’ve been into the Nest store and I was inspired, yes some items are not immediately affordable to the masses however they are items you could save for, items you could invest in to love for a life time. Some of their products are affordable to a lot of working class people, I suppose it depends what you wish to spend your money on, some people like to buy expensive clothing. It’s all a choice and should not be discriminated.

Wasn’t ParkHill originally build for the working class. A luxury for a working class society in Sheffield. A dream of a better life. It only went into dispear once the mining industry collapsed and people were forced to support their family’s in other ways. Which in some cases were illegal.

Parkhill is architecturally inspiring, mid century modern, works hand in hand with this brutalist space. I think it’s good for a local shop, that’s not franchised and a store with Sheffield roots has taken up the space.

Many people out there would spend hundreds on a Chanel handbag or a pair of McQueen trainers, and others prefer to invest in their homes. Everyone is different and everyone has the right to spend their money on what they wish to spend it on. Who are we to judge.

Just because it’s not available to all doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be avalible to everyone and why does location matter on such as a development that is looking for revitalisation, growth and improvement.

I say well done and good luck to Nest!

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Thanks for your comment Louise. Yes, as I say in the piece, it’s good to see that unit being used. But as a resident I also worry that the flats could become too exclusive and end up pushing the people who live in the surrounding area out. I think what Dave Watkins is doing at Park library is a way to combat that.

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founding

The commercial rents at Park Hill are, when compared to the city centre, good value.

Even with those rents very few companies have taken the leap to be there on the ground floor as a public-facing business. I’m delighted that Nest have taken on a unit that’s been empty for ages.

The offices at Park Hill already contain fantastic Sheffield businesses like Warp Films and I hope Nest become a fixture up in S2 like Warp has.

Let’s be honest, there were sofas and items in John Lewis that few could afford and yet there was an outcry when it closed.

I like that Sheffield has something aspirational like Nest. I live in S2 myself and even though I almost certainly won’t spend 9k on a chair the fact that I can see that is possible in the area I live I find oddly inspiring.

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Apr 8, 2023Liked by Dan Hayes

This article has some mistakes in it , I’m not 55 I’m 53 get your listening ears on Dan .

Tracy Brown

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Sorry, have changed now. Jackie said she was 58 and that you were three years younger. But I should have checked.

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Apr 8, 2023Liked by Dan Hayes

I am at an age when buying new furniture is long past and shops like Nest are not on my radar. So I asked Mr Google to tell me about them. My old mate Google can ramble on a bit. But I gather Nest are more of an online business than a retail outfit. Which makes sense. Park Hill may now be part of where some of the trendy people with a few bob live. But there clearly isn't enough of them there to support a local furniture shop. So Nest obviously isn't there just to impress the locals. I guess it's there because people who buy top of the range branded furniture are the same sort of trendy people with a few bob that live in similar trendy places across the U.K. Maybe a sort of 'Urban Splash ' Generation. So it seems like a clever bit of marketing by Nest. There is of course a plus factor for Park Hill residents and the owners of the remaining undeveloped site. Having Nest downstairs will no doubt put a few bob on to your property values. Not that anyone with a social conscience will care about that of course. You ask the question "Urban Splash’s mantra in attracting investment like Nest was always that Park Hill needs to be made to work. But for who?" I think you've already worked that one out.

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Thanks for your thoughtful comment Peter 🙏 I think it’s a balancing act between the need for regeneration and the needs of the area. My piece was just me worrying out loud about my own contribution to the gentrification of the area!

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Apr 8, 2023Liked by Dan Hayes

Planning Department’s desire to improve and tidy up urban areas mean we dance with devil developers, incomers with cash and design consultants with their ‘material palettes’. Yes we need good homes, but at what price? The nations’ cities are all being hung, drawn and “QUARTERED” up, being given fancy-pants names and so creating utopian pastiches fit only for those with fat bank accounts.

Wake up peoples.

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Thanks for your comment Davina. I feel a bit torn about it really. Urban Splash have made Park Hill a success. Bit at what cost?

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Apr 8, 2023Liked by Dan Hayes

It is the height of tastelessness. Interesting article.

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Thanks Eileen 🙏

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Apr 8, 2023Liked by Dan Hayes

As usual, Sheffield is not worthy ..

A few years ago there was going to be a lovely area of shops opposite the Town Hall , exclusive clothes and furniture stores ,where in the 60’s & 70’s there had been , however the council scrapped it and one quote sticks in my memories

“If the wife wants a posh frock , she’ll have to go to Leeds ‘ 😡

Don’t even get me started on closing down our airport in the ‘90’s !

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Thanks for your comment Babafearn! Yeah, there’s no reason why Sheffield shouldn’t have nice things. It just also needs people who can afford them!

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Apr 8, 2023Liked by Dan Hayes

I like South St Kitchen and it's not wildly expensive for good food, but this furniture shop is misplaced. A pity to hear that there is such a divide between the newcomers and the original residents.

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Thanks Teresa 🙏 Yeah, SSK is great! I think we can address the divide but that’s up to people like me taking a leaf out of Dave Watkins’ book and doing something about it.

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oh and about South Street Kitchen- locally sourced food as much as possible- it kept open throughout the pandemic/ during the rebuild.

We have a locally owned cafe- not an off shore tax haven global franchise. The food is a far more nutritious & value offer than in the station- 5 mins in the other direction. It’s ( ethically sourced) barista coffee is a similar price to elsewhere in the station and city but for sure you can get great food and drink on Duke street ( eg 5Tara as well as the library).

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What appalling attitudes in this article towards people who are just trying to live their life at Park Hill. Why are they all supposed to get involved in the local community - most people living anywhere do not get involved, so why focus on this particular few hectares? What is the rate of involvement in community work of those who live in the areas around Park Hill? What evidence is there of a ‘divide’? The only people sowing division seem to be those not living there. Sounds like a lot of wallowing in self pity - who would want to mix with them anyway!

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Wallowing in self pity while working in a food bank? Not sure that really makes any sense Bob.

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Well you have certainly given the soup a stir here Dan.The Park Hill saga goes on and on.

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