AllCommunityStrategic PlanningToolkit

Castlegate Commons

Year | 2023
Location | Castlegate, Sheffield
Clients | Sheffield City Council

Castlegate Commons is the latest chapter in the regeneration of the Sheffield Castle site, building upon a 7 year collaboration between Sheffield City Council, the University of Sheffield and local community stakeholder groups to create a green space at the heart of the city which both champions the site’s rich historical heritage and provides necessary social value for the residents of Castlegate and beyond.

The Castlegate Commons Live Project brings to life the potential of the Sheffield Castle site. The scheme proposes a variety of interventions into the site across a range of scales in order to further the important regenerative efforts of the Council currently taking place within the site and local area. Castlegate has been a culturally and historically significant area of Sheffield since it’s inception through to modern day; the work of The Council, Sheffield University and various local stakeholders ensures not only is this heritage preserved but enhanced for future generations. The Castlegate Commons Live Project places the interest of the local community at its heart and balances the needs of the all.

The Sheffield Castle site has long been the subject of significant local history and contemporary regenerative efforts. After the slow demolition of the Sheffield Castle came to an end the site formed part of Sheffield’s booming industry, utilising the proximity to the River Sheaf and Sheffield’s urban centre. In the 1950s the site was redeveloped as the Sheffield indoor market, a once treasured local asset that created a social and commercial hub enjoyed by many in the region. When the indoor market was transferred to the Moor market in 2014 the site was vacated and left empty ever since. In 2016, The Friend’s of Sheffield Castle entered into a collaboration with the University of Sheffield, creating a visionary document exploring the possibility to regenerate the site as a multi-functional commercial, community and historic hub. This document galvanised the formation of the Castlegate Partnership, a collective of local community representatives with a shared aspiration to see the Castle site restored to its former status, producing a manifesto expressing the collective wishes of local residents. Once Levelling Up Funding was awarded to the Council, a proposal for a new park was put forward, incorporating many of the site aspirations produced during the 2016 collaboration with the University of Sheffield and the community interests outlined in the Castlegate Partnership’s manifesto. This park is set to be completed by Summer 2025.

The Castlegate Commons Live Project acknowledges the important progress this new park achieves, allowing public access back onto this historically significant site and providing an important step in the regeneration of the Castlegate area. This, however, is not the end of the story for the Castle site. A future vision, including immediate artistic interventions, lightweight structures and a permanent pavilion enhance the provisions made within the council’s proposals and ensures the site is adaptable and responsive to the future needs of the Castlegate community.

The Castlegate Partnership encompasses a wide variety of community stakeholders. The Friends of the Castle and the Sheaf & Porter Rivers Trust represent historic interests, seeking to restore the site to an earlier incarnation as a method of reconnecting Sheffield with its history. Community centres such as SADACCA and Andalus Community Centre represent diaspora communities in the local area whilst Yorkshire Art Space and Rite Trax (operating out of Plot 22) do important work to bring cultural and artistic expression into Castlegate. The balancing of these stakeholders differing interests is fundamental to the future of Castlegate Commons.


Mentor: Carolyn Butterworth
Client: Sheffield City Council
Location: Castlegate, Sheffield
Students: Andrew Chadwick, Barnaby Dulley, Ellen McCann, Florence Pond, Jingyi Lai, Luca Philo, Luke Alcock, Mihaela Constantinescu, Will McKinney, Yu Gan, Yuming Guo