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Exclusive: Image concepts for the redevelopment of the former Castle Market

Image obtained by Now Then suggests Sheffield's bid to government's Levelling Up Fund features plaza, visitor centre, outdoor sculptures, 'sunken historical artefact gardens' and an 'art wall'.

Castle site draft concept plan levelling up fund june 2021

An indicative concept plan for the redevelopment of the Castle site for Sheffield's bid to the Levelling Up Fund.

An image obtained by Now Then shows how the historic former Castle Market site could be redeveloped – if a funding bid from the city to central government is successful.

The 'draft concept plan' shows a plaza, a visitor centre, an ‘active pedestrian street’, green space including ‘sunken historical artefact gardens’, sculptures, a seating terrace and an ‘art wall’.

A presentation dated May 2021 includes the concept plan, noting that it is “only indicative... developed to provide a context for the bid submission”.

According to the slides, Sheffield's £20m bid to the government's Levelling Up Fund focuses on opening up the section of the Sheaf which currently passes under the site, making the river into a feature and creating new riverside and wetland habitats.

A press release issued by the Council yesterday states that “plans also include a multi-purpose space to allow students and other users to perform to the public”.

A series of buildings located around the edge of the site are not labelled, suggesting that these could be subject to private development.

“A brief for the remainder of the plan will be informed by wider stakeholder engagement and is likely to include a broad mix of uses, including space for other arts, cultural and community organisations,” the presentation says.

The image's 'key' lists:

  1. South facing seating terrace
  2. Flexible open space
  3. Sunken historical artefact gardens
  4. Accessible projecting riverside jetty
  5. New riverside habitat
  6. Visitor centre
  7. Footbridge
  8. Sculpture locations
  9. Podium gardens
  10. Art wall
  11. Grey to green
  12. Arrival Plaza
  13. Active pedestrian street
  14. Linear rain gardens
  15. New wetland habitat

In the Council's press release, Council Leader Terry Fox said Castlegate is a "hidden gem in the city centre with huge potential".

"Sheffield has a rich, proud history and through this funding we hope to do the site justice and celebrate all it has to offer."

Sheffield submitted its bid to the Levelling Up Fund on 18 June and expects a decision in autumn 2021.

Last month former council officer Simon Ogden made a series of allegations about the conduct of Cllr Mazher Iqbal, some of them relating to the Castle site and the wider Castegate area. Iqbal has been "stepped aside" from his duties on the Council Executive while a formal compaint from Ogden is investigated.

Ogden claims that Iqbal wasted thousands of pounds of public money by commissioning planning consultations before cancelling them at the last minute – including a consultation on creating a 'conservation area' in Castlegate and a public engagement programme around the future of the Castle site.

He accuses Iqbal of "a repeated succession of inappropriate, incompetent and improper behaviour", including "openly associating with and supporting the interests of certain private commercial parties", including property developers.

Cllr Iqbal "robustly denies" all the allegations.

More on Castlegate and the former Castle Market site coming soon...

Castle site satellite view

A satellite view of the site, which has been vacant since Castle Market was closed in 2015.

Google Maps

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