Student designs for Castlegate

Live Project helps secure funding to transform Castlegate in Sheffield

Student designs produced as part of the Revealing the Castle Live Project showcase the potential for regenerating the Castlegate area of Sheffield City Centre.

The designs were used to support a funding bid which has now been awarded nearly £800,000 by Sheffield City Council. The funding will enable a number of projects to transform the area over the next 18 months including an archaeological dig to reveal the buried remains of Sheffield Castle.


Revealing the castle designSheffield Castle was built on the banks of the River Don and River Sheaf, becoming one of the largest castles in England before its demolition after the Civil War. The area surrounding it, Castlegate, is the birthplace of Sheffield and remains a main gateway into the city centre. However, the area has been in decline for many years as its markets moved to the Moor and businesses closed.

Architecture masters students and Carolyn Butterworth, have worked closely with the Department of Archaeology, City and Cultural Engagement Office and Friends of Sheffield Castle to produce a vibrant and creative vision for the future of the area. The designs are helping to drive plans for both meanwhile and long-term use of the site while archaeologists carry out excavations to uncover the Castle’s remains.


Revealing the castle designThe students propose that the uncovering of Sheffield Castle becomes a catalyst for Castlegate’s regeneration. Building on this rich history, they imagine the area as a vibrant centre for arts and creative enterprise, supporting grass roots projects and capturing the creative energy of the local community.

Staff and students at the Sheffield School of Architecture have worked with Friends of Sheffield Castle, Friends of the Old Town Hall, Sheffield City Council and other local stakeholders over the last three years on a variety of live and speculative projects to help develop a regeneration strategy for Castlegate that is absolutely grounded in the social and cultural history of the area. This process of co-production between the Sheffield School of Architecture and the City continues in order to bring these ideas to fruition.

Carolyn Butterworth, Director of Live Works, said “We are delighted that the students’ design work has played such an important part in securing this initial funding for the regeneration of Castlegate. Their vision has captured people’s imagination and we will continue to collaborate with our city partners to make it happen on site.”

MArch student Tom Moore explains "The Castlegate project always felt special given the sheer number of people who have a keen interest in what happens there. The challenge was in proposing something which channelled all these voices and all the unusual constraints surrounding the site, attempting to turn them into assets for the city of Sheffield. The ongoing work aims to continue this holistic approach in the area, hopefully kick-starting early signs of activity in the coming months!"

Professor John Moreland from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Archaeology, said “This is great news for Sheffield, and for Sheffield Castle! I look forward to continuing our work with the City Council and with local community groups to show how the heritage of this important place can inspire its regeneration.”

Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Director of City and Cultural Engagement at the University of Sheffield, added “Castlegate is Sheffield’s original city centre and home to centuries of market trading, a buried castle and historic civic institutions, but has fallen into decline over recent years. This new funding means that University of Sheffield researchers can continue their work with the council and community groups to uncover the remains of the castle, shed new light on the history of the area and help develop vibrant and creative visions for its future, which are crucial steps in the regeneration of the Castlegate Quarter of the city. We’re delighted to continue our support of this transformative community project.”

Read more