16 November 2022

The students helping Sheffield shape the future of Castlegate

Our students are helping the University of Sheffield and Sheffield City Council to engage the public, and especially local residents, in the plans for the Castlegate site.

Members of the public use the visualisation facilities at the Urban Room for Castlegate futures

Castlegate is the birthplace of Sheffield. It stands at the confluence of the rivers Sheaf and Don, and was once the heart of the city. The area is named for the mediaeval castle that once stood here, and is the focus of Sheffield City Council's “Gateway to Sheffield” development strategy. 

Liveworks, our Urban Room in the city centre, engages with local people about the past, present and future of the city. And our students are getting involved. Connor, a student on our MArch course, has joined “Studio in Residence”, a studio that is looking at the future development of the area. 

“I chose this studio because of my experience on Live Projects. The project I worked on was Screen Rights, and Carolyn Butterworth was involved in that through LiveWorks. So I wanted to work as part of Studio in Residence, with Carolyn as the Studio Tutor.” says Connor. 

Connor also lives in Castlegate - another factor that contributed to his decision to work as part of Studio in Residence. 

“We started last week: setting up the urban room in Castlegate. This studio relates to years of previous work from the same studio. Currently we’re helping facilitate public engagement to give feedback to the council on the plans for the site, but also asking the public what they’d like to see in Castlegate.”

A presentation being held about the future of Sheffield's Castlegate site

As part of the urban room there will be different talks from different groups involved in the project, from the council presenting their plans to  tours by Friends of Sheffield Castle and Sheaf & Porter Rivers Trust. Connor and Studio in Residence are keen to get people of all ages involved in the process.  

“We want as much feedback as possible, and as much data as possible, so we can come back and refine the plans. We’ve had a huge turnout so far - people are very interested. Even just people walking past as we’re setting up”.

A hand holding a Castlegate postcard - a way for the public to provide feedback about the future of the site.

Studio in Residence will be doing a student takeover on Thursday - with plans to engage with people living and working in the area. “We’re trying to make it easy for busy people to have their say. By going out to them, and giving them alternate ways to take part - such as postcards that they can post back.”

Want to go along to the Urban Room for the student takeover? Head to 18 Exchange Street, Sheffield S2 5TS on Thursday 17th November, 12-6pm

“I’m really excited about the ecological aspect of the site. The deculverting of the River Sheaf and bringing it out, and into use again. It’s been covered for years - but it’s the river that gives Sheffield the name! There’s a lot of wildlife, not just fish and river life, bats as well. The river will be great to use for watersports, such as kayaking as well as fishing.” 

If you’re interested in the Castlegate area come along to our events, or come to the Urban Room to explore the current plans and have your say. Here’s a list of events and the Urban Room’s opening times.

The Urban Room has already hosted one great workshop, but come along to the others this weekend. The Outdoor City is on Saturday 19th November and Future Partnerships is on Sunday 20th November.

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