Castleford is a town on the River Aire, near to Pontefract.
Like many former mining and industrial communities, Castleford has suffered a downturn in its fortunes in the past few decades. More recently, however, several initiatives have been set on foot to improve its fortunes.
The Castleford Project is a major, long-term regeneration initiative, supported by a partnership between Channel 4, Wakefield Council, public agencies such as the Arts Council, and a network of local champions. A television series presented by Kevin McCloud will be screened by Channel 4.
Castleford has one of the district's most historic parks: Queens Park on Ferrybridge Road which was opened in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. The Friends of Queens Park, a volunteer group established in 1998, has managed to revitalise this park, providing it with a smart Victorian Bandstand, two bowling greens with pavilions, a games area, sensory garden, a wild meadow area, woodland, two play areas and four football fields.
On the outskirts of the town, the Xscape leisure complex has Europe's largest indoor real snow slope.
In June 2007 Castleford was in the news as the unlikely venue for the world premiere of the Bollywood film The Train. The premiere was attended by Indian celebrity Amitabh Bachchan, the film's stars Emraan Hashmi, Greeta Basra and former Miss India Sayali Bhajet.OS grid reference SE 425 255
AccommodationFind hotels in or near Castleford
The nearby RSPB reserve of Fairburn Ings is a magnet for bird-spotters. In winter, the large numbers of wildfowl include smews, goldeneyes and goosanders. In summer, breeding wading birds include redshanks, snipe and lapwings. In the migrating seasons of spring and autumn rare bird species are often seen.
Born in Castleford
Henry Moore, the greatest sculptor of the 20th century, was born in Castleford on 30 July 1898.
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