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Funds secured for key Rotherham project

Published on Tuesday, 31st January 2017 in Town Centre news

Rotherham Council has successfully secured funds to purchase Forge Island.

Sheffield City Region Combined Authority this week agreed to the Council’s bid of £1.5m to pay for the land. The monies will be provided as a bridging loan pending a future grant.

The Authority originally shortlisted 16 schemes from 35 bids in 2016 – three Rotherham Council bids were accepted pending full business cases.

The other two bids were for road traffic improvements near Wales, Rotherham, and the purchase of the Advanced Manufacturing Park’s Technology Centre.

Rotherham Council’s Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment Damien Wilson said the monies will enable the Council to go ahead with its plans to buy Forge Island from Tesco and prepare it for investment.

He said: “Forge Island is a key development for the borough and central to restoring the town’s night time economy. We are already seeing interest around this site with new restaurants opening, and plans submitted to the Council for further developments. We are looking forward to Forge Island becoming a vibrant leisure quarter to complement the existing retail quarter.”

Rotherham Council hopes to agree a purchase with Tesco in February, with demolition of the current building to follow to enhance the site’s attractiveness to future developers.

Detailed development proposals for the site are currently being prepared alongside the town centre masterplan. An initial draft of the plan is expected in April.

In addition to Forge Island, other future developments for the town centre include Westgate Chambers (subject to planning permission), a Higher Education Campus, and a new bus station.