Meadowhall steel site up for £10m

The 50-acre Outokumpu site is adjacent to Junction 34 and close to Meadowhall. Image courtesy of Google.
The 50-acre Outokumpu site is adjacent to Junction 34 and close to Meadowhall. Image courtesy of Google.

A massive site in Sheffield where thousands of people once processed stainless steel is about to be sold to developers.

Outokumpu is selling 50 acres of land next to Meadowhall, and the forthcoming IKEA, at Junction 34 of the M1. It is expected to go for about £10m.

The firm has drawn up a shortlist of three bidders and is expected to make a decision in the next two weeks.

The giant plot off Shepcote Lane was once home to more than a dozen interlinked buildings where thousands of people worked, as the aerial picture shows.

They were razed in 2011 and the site cleared - although a huge clean-up is needed to remove heavy metals and acids.

Richard Waugh, Outokumpu company secretary, said they had decided to sell to raise money and allow redevelopment.

He added: “It’s been on the cards for a while, we’ve had a lot of interest.

“It’s a major industrial site at a gateway to Sheffield next to the M1 and with its own railway line.”

Possible uses include distribution or manufacturing - it is close to the planned Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District centred on nearby Sheffield Business Park.

But any development will be closely scrutinised by objectors who raised concerns over air quality and traffic congestion from a new IKEA. Its application to redevelop the former Tinsley Wire site off nearby Lock House Road, was granted last year.

The Outokumpu site was majorly developed in the 1950s by the British Steel Corporation for the cold rolling and cutting of stainless steel into sheets of metal. It became British Steel Stainless after privatisation in the 1980s. In 1992 it was sold to Swedish company Avesta. Avesta Sheffield became Avesta Polarit when Finnish firm Outokumpu bought a share and then simply Outokumpu in 2002 when it bought the lot.

Mr Waugh said operations were wound down due to over-capacity in Europe and it finally closed in 2005.

The site was cleared in 2011. Outokumpu still runs a melt shop, bar company and sales and distribution company in Sheffield, employing 550 people.