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Plans in for transformation of landmark Sheffield industrial icon

19 August 2009

Plans have been submitted to transform Sheffield Forgemasters, radically improving the appearance and environmental credentials of the historic industrial site.

Sheffield architects Race Cottam Associates have submitted proposals for the first phase of their masterplan to rejuvenate the 64-acre Sheffield Forgemasters site, which aims to become a showcase for environmental best practice in industry. 

The plans include the external redevelopment of Sheffield Forgemasters' Brightside Lane façade.

Derelict buildings on the popular thoroughfare, including a Grade II listed machine shop, will be brought back into use, with cleaned up brickwork and new feature lighting. Arches bricked up for more than 30 years will also be glazed in a bid to bring the site back to its former glory. 

Race Cottam director David Cottam said: "This is not just an important development for Sheffield Forgemasters, it is also an important one for the city. 

"The drive along Brightside Lane past the impressive and historic site buildings is very well known to local people. The first stage of improvements to the Sheffield Forgemasters site aims to maximise the existing architectural qualities of those buildings, whilst bringing them back to life in a way which complements and enhances their immediate environment."

Peter Birtles, director at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: "This is an exciting time for Forgemasters as we are keen to plan for the future of our site. But we also have a responsibility to both recognise the historic qualities of this site and its immediate environment. 

"Race Cottam's proposals for the site will sympathetically improve the appearance of the whole area, whilst bringing large parts of the site back into use after many years standing redundant, aiding our ongoing expansion and capital investment programme for new equipment.

The Brightside Lane improvements are the first stage of a raft of proposals developed by Race Cottam last year for how the Sheffield Forgemasters site might develop over the next quarter century. 

Working alongside company directors and government bodies, such as the Environment Agency, Race Cottam's future proposals for the site include a refurbished Vickers Building, new cladding for many of the site buildings and the introduction of landscaped green areas, encouraging biodiversity which is an important element of Forgemasters' overall vision.

The Brightside Lane proposals have now been submitted to city planners.