Members of Castlefield Forum are delighted to be working with the National Trust to understand the spirit of Castlefield, including its value to the city of Manchester and beyond, its heritage, people, buildings, open spaces, structures, waterways and stories.
The National Trust care for places of historic interest or natural beauty and one of the ways they do this is by revealing and sharing the significance of their properties and places, understanding their ‘spirit of place’ and why they are valued. Using their experience and expertise, the National Trust are helping Castlefield Forum establish what makes Castlefield unique, distinctive and cherished to the people who live, work and visit the area, capturing its ‘spirit of place’.
An Action Group of Forum members particularly interested in this project was formed and, guided by National Trust staff, developed a project plan. The first stage was to conduct a survey, using social media, asking these questions:
- What one thing do you think makes Castlefield unique?
- Why is Castlefield special to you?
- What do you value most about Castlefield?
- What do you think is the most special or inspiring building or area within Castlefield, and why?
- Tell us in three words what makes Castlefield special to you
- How does Castlefield make you feel?
- If you could change one thing about Castlefield, what would it be and why?
We had a great response to the survey and stage two was to build upon the survey responses with two workshops for residents, businesses and other stakeholders, using their knowledge and understanding of the area to create a shared understanding of the ‘spirit’ of Castlefield. The write-up of the two workshops can be found here:
The Action Group has written a draft ‘Statement of Significance’ for Castlefield. Although this has yet to be finalised, we hope to share it with all Forum members soon. The next stage will then be to carry out an audit to look at the area and sense check it against the Statement of Significance. This will help us establish which features are living up to the Spirit of Place and which are detracting from it. From this we can start to form an Action Plan which we hope will influence future decisions affecting the area and identify future priority projects.