Rotherham Council sets out vision for Future High Streets Fund bid

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Rotherham Council is developing its vision for a more vibrant markets area including a brand new library.

The Council has put forward a bid for just over £20 million to the Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) which would help deliver the redevelopment plans. Last year, Rotherham – along with other shortlisted areas – was selected to work up a detailed project proposal for the FHSF based on its initial plan.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has been working closely with each place to help them develop schemes in preparation for making a bid.

The preferred option, if successful, would draw in grant funding worth £20.3 million from the FHSF which would contribute towards a programme of works in the Town Centre.

The plans would help deliver the transformation and reorientation of Rotherham Town Centre including schemes to redevelop the markets and to improve open spaces along key gateways within the town, complementing the work to be undertaken as part of the Forge Island development.

In summary, the proposal could deliver the following benefits:

• 94 jobs created
• 58 residential units
• Over 9000 sqm of commercial space
• 2850 sqm of retail space improved
• 3.34 hectares of public realm delivered and improved

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy Cllr Denise Lelliott said: “The plans put forward are big, and they needed to be. The priority has been securing the funding to bring those plans into reality.

“We are laying solid foundations with our partners with the new University Centre, refurbished bus station and the Tram Train service already in place. Work on Forge Island also continues; bringing us another step closer to the exciting cinema and leisure scheme that is planned. There’s also £30 million being invested to create housing and breathe new life into three town centre sites.

“Our Town Centre Masterplan sets out our vision, moving towards a more diverse mix of uses with a focus on residential and leisure, quality open spaces and better connectivity.”

The multimillion-pound regeneration of Forge Island is already moving ahead with flood defence and enabling works underway.

Work is also due to start on three disused former industrial sites and kick-start a raft of new housing development in the town centre.

Improvements to the town’s open spaces will begin soon, incorporating new paving, lighting and street furniture, giving a more bright, modern feel to the area.

The FHSF plans are subject to change and further consultation will take place before the final bid is submitted. The Council’s final bid is due for submission on the 30th April 2020, with successful bids expected to be informed in the summer.

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