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The Forum project

This project aimed to replace the existing library and museum room (see picture above)with a new building. This building houses a new library, a museum telling the Castleford story and more.

This is a council project backed by the community including the local Labour Party with inputs from local groups such as the Friends of Castleford Library, the Castleford Heritage Trust and the Civic Trust. The community have asked that the fašade of the library and the next door former market hall be retained, and as a result the architects have left these in.

The Labour council committed funding to the project despite opposition from Tory members. A steering group was set up. I was one of its members.

Following the granting of planning permission, the new library and museum, called the forum, was built.

Castleford as a town suffered a lot with the closure and downsizing of industries by a Tory government. It appeared to have lost its hope for the future. Now, thanks to the Labour council working with local groups things are looking up and there is a new optimism. Yet, the town centre seems not to have caught up with this. The Forum is a visual icon to the town's new optimism, and the next project, the Queen's Mill, will add to this.

The Queen's Mill is a former stoneground flour mill that has been bought by Castleford Heritage Trust to be turned into a community hub for heritage, commerce and the arts. As with the Forum project, the Labour council is supporting this popular project.

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