Imagine Castlegate

Castlegate, Sheffield (United Kingdom) 2021, ongoing

University of Sheffield (United Kingdom)

Castlegate is a run-down area of Sheffield city centre which is the historic birthplace of the city, located at the confluence of the Rivers Don and Sheaf. Castlegate has been home to 800 years of market trading, theatres, industry and one of the largest castles in England, demolished in 1650. ‘Imagine Castlegate’ is a community-focussed co-production process to envision, campaign for and support the development of a new neighbourhood, accessible to all, that celebrates the rich heritage of Castlegate while creating a viable sustainable future. Since 2014, Sheffield School of Architecture (SSoA) students and graduates have been co-producing design work and participatory research with community groups, local independent businesses, archaeologists, public-sector institutions and Sheffield City Council, to develop an ambitious shared vision for the future development of the area.

SSoA is acting as an effective mediator between grassroots and local authority, helping to build capacity towards meaningful co-production at all scales. Our students’ creative engagement activities, research and design ideas have been instrumental in building a vision, shared by all partners, to deliver an ambitious, community-driven, socially, economically and environmentally sustainable new city quarter through multi-sector co-production.

Clients / Collaborators

(2014-2017): Friends of Sheffield Castle; Exchange Street Collective; Yorkshire Artspace; Harmony Works; Sheffield City Council.

Since 2017 these partners have been brought together with other key stakeholders, including Sheffield School of Architecture to form The Castlegate Partnership.


Carolyn Butterworth; Leo Care

Students Thomas Moore; 120 students from the Masters in Architecture (2014-2021 cohorts)

Research question

How can a School of Architecture play an activist role in delivering regeneration of its host city that is socially and environmentally sustainable?

+, 11-50, Architecture, Client-funded, Collaboration, Curricular, Postgraduate, Propositional, Self-funded, Sheffield Univ., Students with tutor, United Kingdom, Years