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Contractor appointed to transform historic Castlegate into green space

Exciting plans to transform one of the most historic parts of Sheffield city centre has moved a step closer with the appointment of the lead contractor.

Keltbray is one of the UK’s leading specialist engineering and early-stage construction providers and will deliver the project regenerating the former Castle Market site into an exciting public space complete with revealing part of Sheffield’s medieval Castle, a new events area, the opening up of the River Sheaf and new public art that will interpret the history of the site.

The plans will also shine new light on the Castle itself. Dating back to the 12th century it is the birthplace of Sheffield, with the new public space showcasing aspects of the castle for the first time in centuries. Remains including the Gatehouse will be revealed and put on display for the public to appreciate and admire.

A visit to the Castle Site. L-R: Chris West, Head of Operations at Keltbray, Louise Pavitt, Major Project Director at Keltbray, Lucia Lorente-Arnau, Principal Development Officer and Cllr Ben Miskell, Chair of Transport, Regeneration and Climate Committee.

Other nods to the history of the castle area will include an events space, reminiscent of the ‘bowling green’ believed to have occupied the site in the 17th century. The events square will be able to host up to 500 people at a range of events. Planting will also have echoes of the Castle’s past with tree species known to have been around at the time being used.

The river Sheaf will be opened and visible for the first time in the city centre since the Victorian times.

Innovative public art will also be used to interpret the heritage and celebrate the history of the area from the original castle, through the industrial revolution to the Castle Market.

Councillor Ben Miskell, Chair of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Change Policy Committee, said:

“Seeing this amazing project move closer to becoming a reality is incredibly exciting and will mean that we will be able to see the remains of the castle which kick started Sheffield.

“The appointment of Keltbray as our contractor is a vital step in bringing this project to life and I cannot wait to see the transformation happen over the coming months. Its yet another sign that Sheffield city centre is on the up.

“Once complete it will be an incredible public space bringing together the history of our city along with modern public spaces for the people of Sheffield and beyond to enjoy.”

Transformation of the site, once home to centuries of market trading, is expected to begin in the opening weeks of 2024 after plans were approved by the City Council back in May 2023 with completion due by the summer of 2025.

Vip Gandhi, Keltbray Highways Managing Director said:

"We are delighted to continue our relationship with Sheffield City Council on the impressive Castlegate project. Together, we have the opportunity to deliver an exciting scheme to regenerate the site, providing new public spaces, whilst preserving an area of rich historical heritage."

The project is being funded by the UK Government/Levelling Up Fund, South Yorkshire Metropolitan Combined Authority, Environment Agency and Sheffield City Council.

Updates on the scheme will be posted on the Council's website