Work begins on £5.8m ‘Grey to Green Phase 2’ scheme in Sheffield city centre
Work has begun on a £5.8m project that will transform Castlegate in Sheffield city centre with floral meadows, cycle lanes and public art.
Contractor North Midland Construction will begin work this week on a mile-long scheme that will involve Castlegate itself being closed to vehicles and the planting of 57 new trees in the area.
When completed in March 2020, the project will also link Castlegate to the under-used Victoria Quays area and significantly improve the approach to the new Kollider development on Snig Hill.
The ambitious project builds on the work on Grey to Green Phase One, which Sheffield Council say has made a significant improvement to the West Bar area, with the second phase of work extending to meet it at the top of Snig Hill.
Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment, said: “The first phase of Grey To Green has justifiably won awards and attracted interest from cities around the world.
“It is a beautiful corridor of colour which looks good year round. I’m thrilled this success story will now extend into the city’s ancient and historic heart and provide better connectivity to the canal basin and Castlegate itself”.
“By working in partnership we are delivering another world-class scheme which will make this part of the city vibrant once again.”
The original phase of Grey To Green saw the city’s former inner ring road transformed into a green corridor that is also home to the country’s largest sustainable urban drainage system.
The project has since won a National Green Champion award at the International Green Apple Awards, an Eric Hughes Award for Outstanding Contribution to Improving Sustainability and best open space and overall outstanding project awards at the Sheffield Design Awards in late 2016.
Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said: “Work on the second phase of the Grey to Green project comes at an exciting time for our region. We’re committed to supporting people to travel in a more active way, which brings benefits such as improving people’s health, reducing congestion and improving air quality.
“Creating greener public spaces and improving walking and cycling routes, through schemes such as Grey to Green, is a crucial part of this. People don’t simply need encouragement to travel actively; they need the infrastructure that makes it possible.
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“That’s why I’m pleased that Local Growth Funding, distributed through the Sheffield City Region, has supported this project. Active travel is a key priority for the Sheffield City Region and, working with our new Active Travel Commissioner, Dame Sarah Storey, we aim to create an environment where accessible and safe public spaces such as Grey to Green are the norm, rather than the exception.”
Grey to Green Phase Two was given the green light after £5.8m in funding was confirmed from the European Regional Development Fund, £2.8m of which is Sheffield City Region Local Growth Funding, as well as contributions from Sheffield Council and the Canal and Rivers Trust.
Just under £3.5m was spent on the initial phase, which was completed in 2016 and encompassed parts of the former inner ring road between West Bar and Lady’s Bridge, winning several awards.
Colourful floral meadow beds, designed with help from Prof Nigel Dunnett of Sheffield University, were put down together with five public art ‘totems’ and a drainage system that soaks up water to cut the risk of flooding. The under-used carriageway along West Bar was narrowed from four lanes to two, and the team also contributed to Love Square, a ‘pocket park’ on an empty site at the bottom of Snig Hill.
The programme has already stimulated investment. West Bar Square - a development of offices, hotel and more - is on the way, apartments have been created and the Crown House building has been turned into student flats.
Phase three will extend the Grey to Green principle towards Kelham Island, once funding becomes available.
Grey to Green Phase Two in numbers:
£5.8 million investment
57 new trees
March 2020 completion date
Will transform one mile of roads