THE future of a multi-million project to protect and display the remains of Sheffield Castle is in the balance after a bid for lottery money was turned down.
The Heritage Lottery Fund had been asked for almost half a million pounds to help pay for archaeological investigations with a view to a later bid for £4.3 million to put the remains of the castle on show.
The Rediscovering Sheffield Castle project is part of Sheffield Council’s wider regeneration plans for the Castlegate and Riverside quarters which could include a park on the former Castle Market site.
Coun Leigh Bramall, the council’s cabinet member for business, skills and development, said: “We are keen to meet with the Heritage Lottery Fund representatives to understand where our bid failed, as we have previously been extremely successful in attracting external funding for many significant projects throughout the city.
“Given the importance of this site as the birthplace of one of Britain’s major cities and the regeneration potential the scheme would deliver, we believe our bid was very strong indeed, so it’s crucial to find out why they felt it didn’t meet their strict criteria. However, we remain committed to the scheme. ”
Professor John Moreland, chairman of the Castlegate Committee at the University of Sheffield, said: “We are very disappointed with this decision.
“However, we remain committed to a project which will dramatically increase our understanding of Sheffield’s past, will provide the people of Sheffield with opportunities to participate in the rediscovery of their heritage, and will be part of the council’s plans for the redevelopment of Castlegate.”