According to an architect, the Victorian bridge in Sheffield could be transformed into a magnificent green space to help attract families to the area. Coda Studios’ Matt Bowker showed an interest in converting Kelham Island’s Ball Street Bridge into a park. The bridge has been closed to traffic since the pandemic and has become a gathering area for visitors to appreciate the river and wildlife, he said. The concept was praised by Sheffield City Council.

Mr. Bowker, whose office is close, says that Kelham Island has experienced a lot of investment and expansion over the last 20 years, but it is aimed toward young people – singles and couples. There is a little outdoor area for families, despite the abundance of residences, pubs, and restaurants. Repaving the bridge and putting permanent benches and planters, he says, could turn it into a location for events and residents. Sheffield City Council spokesperson remarked that the city is proud of its reputation as the “Outdoor City,” and that improving green space is an important part of the city’s development. He went on to note that the Ball Street Bridge was now closed to traffic as part of Kelham’s active transportation policy to encourage walking and cycling and that when putting such efforts in place, factors like emergency vehicle access must be considered.