Year | 2003
Location | Neepsend, Sheffield. UK
Client | The Neepsend Forum
Neepsend is an area of Sheffield that is loosely defined by the valley and the flood plain of the upper reaches of the River Don and stretches from Waingate/Lady’s Bridge and the Wicker Arches to Bridge Houses, Kelham Island, Philadelphia, Hillfoot Bridge and the Ski Village at Parkwood Springs.
The Neepsend Forum has formed with the intention of guiding developments positively, giving local control to the variety of different interest groups: businesses, community groups, land owners and developers that have come together as a partnership in the Forum.
The aim is neither rampant commercial devlopment, nor a rigidly imposed masterplan, but a sensitive bespoke framework under local control that will take the best of the area’s history and cultural relationships into the future.
In the long term the intention is to create an asset base for the community groups involved, so that these groups can be self sustaining and not reliant on the vagaries of Government funding. Our role has expanded as we have seen the opportunity to provide something more including providing publicity material and the opportunity for greater public participation in the visions development by conducting an urban design workshop in the area.
This produced a number of fascinating insights, one of the most important being the areas consistent evolution in tune with its users present requirements, whether providing the first industrial spaces in Sheffield, possibly the world or recovering in the wake of the flood. Or as now providing space for emerging industries.
The people of Neepsend have made it and continue to make it what it is today. This and the flexibility is a key part of the areas character, a part that any development framework should attempt to retain. We also conducted cold research in Neepsend itself. We interviewed a variety of fascinating people in the area, gauging their opinions as to what makes Neepsend, why they use it and what they think the area needs in the future.