Key milestone for city regeneration project

The next major phase in Sheffield City Council’s plans to regenerate the historic area of Castlegate gets underway this week.

Investigations will be carried out by archaeology and heritage specialist, Wessex Archaeology, as it conducts 33 borehole surveys across the site of Sheffield Castle to examine the conditions of the site’s underlying groundworks.

Findings will then be analysed to give insights into what is underground and in turn inform the council’s redevelopment proposals for the area.

It marks a significant step in propelling the council’s plans to revitalise Castlegate after securing £20m from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund last year.

Plans include de-culverting of the River Sheaf, interpretation of the castle remains and the creation of green public spaces; creation of an cultural destination providing S1 Artspace and Sheffield Music Academy and Sheffield Music Hub with new state-of-the-art facilities; preparation of land for future uses and investment; better connectivity and improved infrastructure for active travel.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, co-chair of the regeneration, transport and climate policy said: “This is a huge step forward in our plans to transform Castlegate into a thriving and vibrant city centre hub, as it would have been hundreds of years ago when the castle still stood.

“Gathering this data is the key to unlocking the future of the site. It will tell us what is and isn’t possible for the development of the land so a masterplan can be drawn up and put to the public for their thoughts in a consultation this autumn.

“It’s a really exciting time for the project and I look forward to seeing the next stage develop.”

Cllr Julie Grocutt, fellow committee co-chair, said: “Castlegate is a large part of Sheffield’s rich history and heritage and like our residents and stakeholders, we want to understand more about the site so that a suitable approach to future development is established.

“We want to transform Castlegate into a district of innovation, education and culture that re-energises our city centre and benefits our communities and this is another important step to helping us realise these ambitions.”

Milica Rajic, an infrastructure director from Wessex Archaeology, added: “We’re happy to be back on the fascinating castle site, working with Sheffield City Council and partners.

“The exercise will help us gather more information about key elements of the site such as where the castle moat joins the River Sheaf, allowing us to further the knowledge we have about the site and uncover more of Sheffield’s history.”