Rotherham Town Centre

£12.6m government funding boost for Rotherham town centre

Rotherham has been awarded £12.6m to help the transformation of the town centre as part of the government’s Future High Streets Fund.

Last year, Rotherham Council put forward a bid to the government scheme to help deliver some of its redevelopment plans.

Last week, the government officially awarded funds to 57 town centre plans across the country, with Rotherham being successful in their attempts.

News that the funding was set to be approved was announced in December 2020, but now official confirmation has been given.

It means Rotherham Council’s plans to redevelop Rotherham Markets and deliver a new central library can go ahead.

The funds will also support the new Riverside Gardens (part of the Forge Island leisure scheme), improvements to the public realm across the town centre, as well as the expansion and development of charity Grimm and Co’s new home on Ship Hill.

Commenting, Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, Councillor Denise Lelliott said:

“We have been pushing for this funding for a while, so we are delighted that this money has now been confirmed. The plans that we put forward were big, and they needed to be.

“Our popular market has been the soul of Rotherham town centre for over 800 years, since its establishment in 1207.

“The funding will enable a new era for this space with the ambitious regeneration and improvement works, including relocation of the town centre library to provide a real community hub in this part of town.”

Improvements to the town’s open spaces is already happening, with Bridgegate complete and College Street in progress, incorporating new paving, lighting and street furniture, with further works to come.

Demolition of the former Riverside Precinct will take place next month, opening up the views of the river, Rotherham Minster and wider town centre, as well as making way for the new Riverside Gardens.

Meanwhile, the expansion of Grimm and Co includes a major refurbishment of the former Talbot Lane Methodist Church, with the new funds ensuring that the charity can develop its vision.

This will allow it to continue to support children and young people build their confidence and skills around creativity and writing.

A Rotherham Town Centre Investment Fund, which was established by the council to deliver the Town Centre Masterplan, is funding the centre’s regeneration.

The masterplan sets out the council's vision, moving towards a more diverse mix of uses, with a focus on residential and leisure, quality open spaces and better connectivity.

Further funding is being sought from other sources, including from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund and the Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority.

Rotherham Council said they are building solid foundations with their partners, with the new University Centre, refurbished bus station and the Tram Train service already in place.

Work on Forge Island, including flood defence and enabling works which is almost complete, is bringing the town another step closer to the cinema and leisure scheme, with preparations being made for a new Pocket Park in the town’s High Street.

Also, a further £30m is being invested in three new town centre housing developments.

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