Planning permission for Rotherham Council’s public park along the River Don, Riverside Gardens, has been granted.
Plans put forward by the Council include a pedestrianised walk through from the flagship Forge Island development and a public space which will be suitable for a wide range of ages.
Using a mixture of soft and hard landscaping, Riverside Gardens will be a gateway to the heart of the town centre. It will offer residents a place to socialise and relax close to new amenities such as the Arc Cinema, a 69-roomed hotel, and a range of restaurants and bars on Forge Island, which is being delivered in partnership with nationwide placemaker, Muse.
It will offer residents a play area for children and a range of seating so that they can enjoy views along the river.
Following on from the success of the nearby fish pass on Masbrough weir, the scheme will also support local wildlife by providing bat boxes and a tunnelled sand martin box along the river side.
Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Cllr David Sheppard, said: “Riverside Gardens will transform an underused site to fantastic public space which will allow residents to connect with the river and nature. It will be a great addition to the green spaces in the town centre, providing nearby residents with a space where they can meet and feel the benefits of nature. I am glad to see that the riverside, home to some of our favourite wildlife, will be easily accessed and enjoyed by all members of our communities.”
The scheme will be funded by the Future High Streets Fund following on from the Council’s successful bid for a total of £12.6m for numerous public realm schemes in the town centre.
Riverside Gardens will complement the wider Town Centre Regeneration Masterplan to bring major investment into the heart of Rotherham’s cultural and leisure quarter, and town centre housing.
Along with the Riverside Gardens scheme, other redevelopments in the Master Plan will begin soon. Other out of use buildings which overlook Riverside Gardens will also be redeveloped as part of the Culture and Leisure Quarter which supports the needs of residents.
Rotherham Council’s Assistant Director of Planning, Regeneration and Transport, Simon Moss, said: “More and more people are choosing to move into the town centre, thanks to the fantastic range of housing available at the nearby Westgate Chambers, Milford Rise, Westgate Riverside and Wellgate Place. With increasing numbers of people coming into the town centre, it makes business more viable and we are already starting to see new and independent businesses investing in Rotherham.”
To keep up to date with the other regeneration schemes happening in the town centre, go to the Rotherham Town Centre website.