Celebrating Towns and Villages projects across the borough

Towns and Villages Fund News Image

Over the last two years, Rotherham Council’s ward councillors have been working with teams from the Council to deliver 22 Towns and Villages projects in the heart of their communities.

Over the last two years, Rotherham Council’s ward councillors have been working with teams from planning, roads management, and landscaping to deliver 22 Towns and Villages projects in the heart of their communities.

The Council invested an initial £4million to deliver improvements to towns and village centres across the borough. The projects focus on areas that are important to communities and inspire a sense of pride in the area.

13 schemes have now been completed while ground has been broken on another four schemes, with the remaining five beginning in the coming weeks.

The first scheme was completed in July 2022 in Greasbrough. The new development was named ‘Brimmagem Fold’ and included a feature entrance with seating, widened footpaths to improve accessibility, tree planting and railings to deter vehicles from entering the green space.

It has made a huge impact to residents in the local area, providing them with a safe green space where they can meet with friends and walk their dogs.

At the time, Ward Councillor for Greasbrough, Councillor Robert Elliott, said: "I’m delighted the works have been completed, the team have done a fantastic job in turning around the project so quickly. The improvements really enhance these much-loved and well-used green spaces.”

Local shopping areas such as Laburnum Parade in Maltby, Broadway shopping precinct in Swinton, Rosegarth Avenue in Aston, Green Arbour Road in Thurcroft, Stubbins Lane in Rawmarsh, and most recently Quarry Lane in North Anston, have been given a new lease of life with path resurfacing, new benches and planting.

When talking about the improvements on Stubbins Lane, Rawmarsh West Ward Councillor, Cllr Robert Bird, said: “The works have made a real difference to the area and I can already see the impact this will have on local residents. I am astounded at how much better the shopping area looks, it looks so much more welcoming and sociable than it did before.”

In some areas where parking was raised as an issue, the designs of the Towns and Villages projects have taken this into account. Where available, more car parking spaces have been added or new pedestrian safety measures have been put in place.

Issues like this were raised on the Green Arbour Road project in Thurcroft. Now, while roads users are still welcome to park near to the shops, there has been a vast improvement and residents are more safety conscious when parking up.

Thurcroft and Wickersley South Ward Councillor, Cllr Thomas Collingham, said: “Before this work, Green Arbour Road looked a little tired and the unregulated parking was a hazard for pedestrians and road users alike. Now it couldn’t be more different; vehicles and pedestrians each have their own space, parents can walk their children to local schools with confidence and the elderly and disabled can shop with ease. I am delighted with the project and cannot wait to see how the planters bloom in the spring.”

These small changes have made a huge difference to the area, turning worn out looking facilities into brighter places for people to use.

Public spaces and parks have also benefitted from the scheme. Areas such as Kimberworth Library in Kimberworth and the new community greenspace outside the Ridgeway stores in East Herringthorpe have allowed residents somewhere to meet or take a break when they’re out and about.

At the completion of the Kimberworth Library Towns and Villages project, Councillor for Rotherham West, Cllr Eve Rose Keenan, said: “The area was in need of improvement and I’m delighted to see the final results. Supporting activity that focuses on mental wellbeing is a key ward priority so giving residents a place to relax, reflect and look at the new plants and flowers is wonderful.”

The projects have also allowed communities to celebrate major milestones, such as the project in Rawmarsh East which tied in with the 200 Years of Parkgate celebrations. In this scheme, planters featuring the 200 Years of Parkgate badge were installed along Broad Street. There will be a piece of artwork installed on the roundabout over the next few months to mark the milestone.

Ward Councillor for Rawmarsh East, Cllr David Sheppard, said: “For Parkgate’s 200th birthday, we wanted to bring something that all residents will make use of and enjoy, as well as celebrating their heritage. I am really pleased to see the results of this project.”

Residents were consulted in the design stage of each project to ensure their views were taken into account for the final product.

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Cllr Sarah Allen, said: “Throughout the programme, Towns and Villages has allowed residents and Ward Councillors to focus on areas that are key in their communities, and the results of each project has been enormous for those accessing the services and amenities in their area.

“There are still projects that we are yet to see complete or start work, but I am sure that they will bring the same level of positive impact to those communities.”

Projects in Brinsworth, Catcliffe, East Dene, Herringthorpe and Kimberworth Park will begin in the upcoming weeks.

As part of Towns and Villages, £823,000 funding has been given to develop and deliver a scheme on Maltby High Street to make public realm improvements to the area along the length of the shopping parade. Plans are currently being finalised for this scheme after consultation with residents.

For further information about the Towns and Villages projects, go to Rotherham Council’s website at www.rotherham.gov.uk/villages.

Published: 21st March 2024