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New strategic plan for environmental improvements

24 July 2008

Architects are working with Sheffield Forgemasters to deliver a strategic plan and advise on environmental improvements at its 200 year old site.

Race Cottam Associates is carrying out a study at Sheffield Forgemasters' Brightside Lane plant, generating a masterplan for how the 64-acre site might develop over the next 25 years.

Race Cottam is expected to recommend improvements to the overall appearance of the site, including new cladding for many of the buildings and the introduction of landscaped green areas, encouraging biodiversity which is an important element of Forgemasters' overall vision.

The former, listed Vickers office building and an old machine shop have stood redundant for many years.  Ideas for these buildings will form a key focus of the study.

Another aspect of the blueprint will be to outline strategic options surrounding the company's capital investment programme for new equipment.

Flood prevention will also form part of plans for the plant, which sits alongside the River Don which was badly affected by the Sheffield floods of 2007.

Project architect Peter Fauset said: "Forgemasters' plant is one of the region's most significant industrial sites. But many of the buildings are old and although structurally sound have a very worn, industrial appearance.

"We are working closely with the company to develop a masterplan for the whole site which will include significant environmental and sustainable solutions which the company is keen to promote."

Peter Birtles, director at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: "This is an important time for Forgemasters going forward. We have a responsibility to both recognise the historic qualities of this site and its immediate environment, but also need to address the company's advancement and development."