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Last ditch bid to save Sheffield's Castlegate Tower

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Sheffield City Council is pushing ahead with plans to demolish the 1960s Castlegate Tower, in the face of a campaign to save the structure by Twentieth Century Society

The authority is planning to knock down the block as part of a wider scheme to remove the city’s Castle Market to uncover the ruins of Sheffield Castle and create a park and educational facility.

However, the society says that the building is a key city landmark with significant architectural interest.

Emma England, founder member of the Yorkshire branch of the C20 Society said: ‘If Sheffield is serious about its commitment to sustainable development and becoming a low-carbon city, every effort should be made to re-furbish and re-use buildings like Castlegate Tower.

‘It is unlikely that we will get something of the same quality in terms of materials and form as a replacement.’

The building was designed by the city architects’ department of the city council in 1961, with Andrew Derbyshire as project architect.

however an application to list the block was rejected by English Heritage in 2010.

England said that the society wants to work with the council to find a way to retain the tower. The society has even produced an image of an alternative proposal for resuing the tower, including an information centre, rooftop restaurants, office and housing space.

She said: ‘They haven’t got a developer for the new scheme yet, which makes it unwise to start knocking things down.’

The campaign to save Castlegate Tower also has support from individuals in the Sheffield School of Architecture along with the Sheffield Society of Architects and the Sheffield Civic Trust.

The council has drawn up plans for the new park in conjunction with the University of Sheffield, and recently committed £5 million to the project.

A spokesman for the council told AJ that a decision on the awarding of a contract to demolish the building is due to be made in the next few days. He said: ‘We are still on track to do the work to the planned timetable, with the demolition due to start early in the New Year and set to last a year.’

‘The tower forms an integral part of the market that would be difficult to isolate and make secure at ground and first floor levels without significant extra cost.’


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Readers' comments (1)

  • Having worked in the building I'm not convinced about its quality of materials.

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