Yorkshire businessman Eddie Healey who founded Meadowhall shopping center dies aged 83

Eddie Healey was best known for turning abandoned land next to the M1 in Sheffield into Meadowhall Shopping Center

Meadowhall’s success provided a major long-term economic boost to an area that had been hit hard by the shutdown of traditional industries in the 1980s and 1990s.

Meadowhall was abandoned land when Mr Healey bought it with fellow developer Paul Sykes.

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The completed shopping center, which opened in 1990, was the UK’s largest shopping center. It was sold to British Land for £ 1.17bn in 1999. Mr Healey earned £ 420m from the sale.

Eddie Healey

Along with his brother Malcolm, Mr. Healey worked with their father Stanley in the family business of painting and decorating supplies and opened discount stores which became very successful.

After selling the stores to MFI, he got into real estate with the development of Meadowhall and other businesses.

He then developed the £ 500million Centro in Oberhausen, Germany, the largest shopping center in Europe.

He continued to live in East Yorkshire and gave generously to charity, preferring to avoid publicity.

In 2019, Eddie and Malcolm Healey are said to have a combined fortune of £ 1.648 billion, according to The Sunday Times Rich List.

Ironically, Eddie Healey had hardly built a shopping center in Sheffield at all. His plan had been to erect something called Retail World on the former Parkgate steelworks in Rotherham.

Meadowhall, meanwhile, was a rival development envisioned by another wealthy developer, Paul Sykes. It was only when the two men joined forces that the center that we now recognize as Meadowhall was born.

The original tenants included Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and C&A. It drew in punters from the start, with buyers lining up for miles on the M1 to enter. It has served as a model for a host of other retail developments around the world.

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