Bid to save block from the bulldozers

TO SOME it is an insignificant and office building in need of the bulldozer treatment, to others it is a shining example of brutalist architecture which embodies the prosperous spirit of post-war Britain.

Those of the latter camp are in a race against time to save Sheffield’s Castle Market tower block from demolition.

The office block, built in the early sixties, is just one of the buildings which will be knocked down as part of city centre regeneration. The market has been empty since last November, when traders relocated to a new building in The Moor shopping street.

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With demolition due to start in the coming weeks, the Yorkshire branch of the Twentieth Century Society has called on the city council to spare the tower. The group has drawn up plans to show how its preservation could be factored into plans to excavate medieval ruins in the Castlegate area once bulldozing work is complete.

Emma England, an architect helping to lead the campaign, said: “The tower is a monument, a really important landmark in the city of significant arcitechtural merit.

“We accept that the old market hall cannot be kept but we think we have a strong case to show how this fantastic tower can remain alongside any excavation of the ruins.”

A spokesman for Sheffield Council said: “The listing of the complex was considered and rejected by English Heritage some time ago. 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.”