Five Town Parks

Castleford, Yorkshire, UK

The Five Towns Park is a 500,000 square feet retail development, stadium for Castleford Tigers, and country park located on a site just off Junction 32 of the M62.

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The client’s objective was to repatriate retail spend back into the Five Towns area to promote the local economy and to create new jobs and new amenities for the community. As part of a wider design team, Gillespies was commissioned to develop outline design proposals for the 50-acre country park. The scheme displaces some 480,000 cubic meters of soil, which was re-contoured on the site to create a series of sculptural landforms that provide a landmark for the area, a unique country park destination and privacy for adjacent residents.

The proposals create a balanced park for people and for ecology. Significant areas of new habitat will enhance the ecological value of the site with some 20 acres of new woodland, 7.5 acres of wetlands and water bodies; 5km of trails and cycleways, picnic areas and informal play facilities promote health and wellbeing and a resource for the local communities. Art in the landscape plays a key role, inspired by Henry Moore who was born in Castleford. The theme of ‘energy’, that responds to the coal mining heritage and the dominant pylons that currently run through the site, manifests itself in light installations on the earth mounds that become beacons. The green belt site considers how the new country park fits within the wider green infrastructure and the connectivity between other local destinations to create a network of spaces and places to visit.