Where we are now, and where we want to be
Where we are now
Having channelled over £85 million of grant support to local businesses to help them through the pandemic, we are investing significantly in the borough’s business centres, including the new Century centre at Manvers. The centres provide workspace, enabling start-up and small businesses to develop and grow.
A number of employment schemes are delivering tangible benefits for local people. Pathways Rotherham, for example, targets those who are out of work, offering tailored one-to-one support that helps people to build confidence and tackle specific issues that are preventing them from finding employment. The Advance project, meanwhile, assists those already in employment to progress or retrain.
University Centre Rotherham, a state-of-the-art higher education campus in the heart of Rotherham, is now up and running providing additional learning opportunities for people of all ages.
In addition, we have now been formally accredited as a Real Living Wage employer, reflecting the commitment to pay our staff the national living wage and requiring all companies we work with to do the same.
Significant government funding has been secured to take forward our ambitious regeneration plans. The £31.6 million Town Deal comprises a number of schemes that will complement and enhance the ongoing transformation of the town centre and surrounding neighbourhoods, as well as supporting development of a new mainline station. The redevelopment of the markets complex will help retain it as a cornerstone of the town centre retail offer.
Outside of Rotherham town centre, £4 million has been allocated to a ‘Towns and Villages Fund’ to deliver improvement works across local villages and townships which align to ward priorities.
Our successful bid to the government’s Levelling Up Fund will see £40 million of additional investment in Rotherham town centre, the leisure economy across the borough and enhancing skills.
Although online transactions have become the norm for many people, there are others who are likely to be disadvantaged. These residents are potentially missing out on opportunities to find jobs, learn new skills, save money and socially engage. To address this, a digital inclusion programme has been established for which funding has been secured.
Where we want to be
Rotherham’s economy was growing quickly before the pandemic hit, with investment from the likes of Boeing and McLaren propelling the area to the forefront of the new manufacturing economy.
As we support those in our community who have not felt the benefits of this growth, as well as others who have been particularly hit by Covid-19, we need to ensure that the upwards trajectory continues.
We want to remain ambitious and deliver on our package of regeneration across the borough, working with the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.
The support we provide - with our local and regional partners - to boost skills and overcome barriers, must effectively target those who are in danger of being left behind.
We must also involve our communities in the decisions that affect them and in the development that is taking shape.
For example, we want to work with residents to consider how our new leisure attractions, such as the cinema and hotel at Forge Island, can be made accessible to everyone; how communities can continue to influence the regeneration that takes place in their area; and how we can showcase all the great things that we have to offer.
To successfully deliver a digital inclusion programme, we will work with partners to understand the level and nature of digital exclusion across the borough, identify the barriers that stop people accessing online services and deliver a range of projects in response.