Monday, August 21, 2017

News: Plans in for £10m Rotherham town centre development

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Plans for the long-awaited revamp of a prominent building in Rotherham town centre have been submitted.

Rothbiz reported first in February that the new owners of Westgate Chambers had been discussing plans for the future use of the building to include retail, leisure and residential aspects. The draft plans also included some demolition and the construction of a new block facing Domine Lane.

A decision to sell the Main Street property was made by Rotherham Council back in 2014 and the deal is set to go through when planning permission has been granted.

The plans from Sheffield-based HMP Bespoke Construction Ltd, state: "The development will create an exciting courtyard residential development and vibrant retail, leisure, and hospitality space, in the heart of the conservation area in Rotherham town centre.

"The Westgate Chamber site is in a key location within Rotherham town centre; adjacent to the Westgate and Minster Quarters, and on the route between the proposed Forge Island Leisure Hub, and the town centre. The new development has the potential to be a key component in the rejuvenation of Rotherham, and will bring vibrant retail and leisure space and high quality residential accommodation right in the heart of Rotherham."

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Acquired by the Council in 2006, the major part of the 0.275ha complex is currently home to bars, nightclubs and takeaways with disused offices on the upper floors converted into artists studios and community arts space in 2011. Many units are vacant and part of the site is Grade 2 listed.

The proposed development has an estimated gross development value of £10.7m and the plans, drawn up by Self Architects, are for two interrelated developments.

For the existing building, the plan is for the addition of new shopfronts, in keeping with the heritage-led development of High Street, with three floors of contemporary apartments above.

A brand new building containing retail space and flats on Domine Lane is set to bring "high quality contemporary architecture, which will lift the street scene and continue the recent contemporary development."

Dilapidated buildings on Domine Lane are set to be demolished with the access to a courtyard moved to adjacent the 1915 Bar. The plans conclude that: "Overall the loss of the buildings on Domine Lane is outweighed by the benefit of providing much needed housing and high quality retail and leisure premises in the area."

The rear of the blocks are set to be developed to create an additional floor behind the existing ridge with a reorganisation of the floor plans to open up the space.

Renovating the current buildings, high quality retail, leisure and hospitality space is set for street level, with 29 well-proportioned, contemporary, one, two and three bedroom apartments, above. The new building will feature a large commercial unit on the ground floor with 32, high quality one, two and three bedroom apartments all with inset balconies, Juliette balconies or roof terraces.

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Given its proximity to the railway station and interchange, no car parking will be provided on site for the apartments, however 14 parking spaces are proposed for the use of employees of the ancillary retail and leisure uses.

Floor plans show that the basement and ground floor will contain the uses suitable for retail, drinking establishments and the first and second floors for residential.

The Georgian building, known as the Co-op building, was originally a fine residence built in 1794 by the architect John Platt and occupied by him until his death in 1810. It is set to be retained and enhanced. The proposals include reinstating the "handsome" Georgian fa├žade by fitting appropriate 9 and 12-panel windows to the Main Street and Westgate facades, and renewing the shopfronts in a style complimentary to the building.

Images: HMP / Self Architects


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News: SCR Growth Hub smashes business support targets

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Over 4,000 businesses have worked with expert advisors at the Sheffield City Region (SCR) Growth Hub, smashing an initial target of 500.

The SCR Growth Hub is the model that coordinates and simplifies business support so that it joins up national, local, public and private business provisions across the city region.

By the end of April 2017, the Growth Hub and its spokes of specialist advisors had worked with 4,122 businesses. The target was 500.

And the city region's businesses are pleased: the feedback is that they are getting "excellent" support and the Growth Hub has been awarded a satisfaction rating of 89% across the three different levels of help – light, medium and high.

The bulk of inquiries over the year have been about help to grow businesses and finance, while help with skills training, starting a new business, and innovation were roughly equally in demand.

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David Grimes, head of the SCR Growth Hub, said: "This is a very pleasing set of figures. The Growth Hub and its partners have been working extremely hard to help create growth and jobs across the region, and I am delighted that so many people have taken advantage of our services.

"This demonstrates that there is a huge appetite for businesses to grow and create jobs and prosperity across the region.

"Enterprise has always been at the heart of what we do in this region. It's a tribute to the hard work ethos here which is helping to attract, retain and develop skills in the region which are so important for sustainable growth."

Projects within the hub include, Launchpad, a £4m co-ordinated programme of start-up support for new start enterprises delivered by a consortium of the region's local authorities, and the Princes Trust.

A mentoring service is also in operation and the Enhancement Project targets businesses with high-growth potential.

SCR Growth Hub website

Images: SCR Growth Hub


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News: Respectful Care launches new branch in Rotherham

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Respectful Care, an innovative homecare provider, has expanded by opening a new branch in Rotherham.

Following the success of its first branch based in Mansfield,the company opened a new office at Bradmarsh Business Centre in Templeborough in order to cover the Rotherham area and deliver homecare services.

Martin Sieder, managing director, and registered care manager Samantha Woodward, are heading up the new operation.

Vacancies are currently available for support and care workers.

Having gained its registration from the Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator of health and social care in England, Respectful Care works in partnership with all of the major health and social care organisations, local government and charities, and not-for-profit organisations, ensuring a unique and dedicated approach to care services is accessible to all.

Martin Sieder, managing director at respectful Care, said: "This is great news for people who need care and support in the Rotherham area. I know from family circumstances how important it is to get the right care and support in place.

"More so than in any other business, it is important to get the right people onboard; those who share your passion and belief that the people receiving the care and support are the most important people.

"We are recruiting for support and care workers and, our recruitment process requires people to be able to meet a very strict criteria as we demand very high levels of customer care and attention to detail."

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Respectful Care, founded in Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire just a couple of years ago, has already expanded across Nottinghamshire and into Derbyshire, with branches in the Nottingham area and in Chesterfield.

Scott Marsh, who founded Respectful Care with friend and business partner Mark Docherty, said: "We're a business that wants to be the best. We want to not only meet the standards, but set them for others to follow

"There's a reason for this; our clients deserve the best care and support. It's as simple as that. It's something Mark and I feel strongly about, and we know Samantha and Martin do too. We're confident that we can build an organisation centered around people those who work for us, and those we provide a service to."

Samantha Woodward, registered care manager at Respectful Care, said: "I wanted to work with a company who were proud of their reputation and of the care and support they delivered to both the people receiving their services and their staff teams. In Respectful Care, I have found that company.

"With it being a new branch, I look forward to implementing quality person centred working practices to ensure people are receiving the right type of care and support, in the way they wish to receive it. Along with new policies and procedures to support every member of the team so that we set the high standards right from the start."

Respectful Care website

Images: Respectful Care


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Thursday, August 17, 2017

News: Cooper & Turner going for growth in wind sector following acquisition

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Historic global manufacturer, Cooper & Turner, which has significant operations in Sheffield and Rotherham, has been acquired by The Watermill Group, an American private investment firm.

Family-owned, Cooper & Turner, is one of Europe's leading manufacturers of bolts, nuts and washers used in the energy, rail, construction and other engineering sectors. It has facilities at its Templeborough Works in Sheffield and at Canklow in Rotherham, where the focus is on the wind energy sector.

Based in Lexington, Massachusetts, The Watermill Group, targets "businesses at a pivotal turning point," bringing in investors with the aim of helping companies achieve their full potential through strategic transformation.

The deal, for an undisclosed amount, sees the acquisition of Cooper & Turner by taking on Andaray (Holdings) Limited and its direct and indirect subsidiaries.

Mid Cap Financial Services, LLC provided debt for the transaction and Grant Thornton UK LLP provided corporate finance, debt advisory, tax and financial due diligence advice to Watermill. K&L Gates LLP provided Legal Counsel to Watermill. Mazars LLP advised Cooper & Turner and Mincoffs Solicitors provided legal counsel.

The vision is to create: "The world's first, truly global mission-critical-fastener supplier with a seamless, one-stop shop solution for the manufacture and distribution of industrial fasteners that meet the highest levels of quality."

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Cooper & Turner senior management, including group CEO Tony Brown and head of group production David Brown, will remain in their current positions and retain a significant shareholding in the company. The Watermill Group are set to introduce complimentary systems and procedures and provide strategic guidance as the company manages the growth in wind energy. Another aim is to support the launch of manufacturing and distribution operations in the United States.

Julia Karol, president and COO, Watermill Group, said: "Cooper & Turner's reputation and track record is virtually unmatched. We are impressed with the company's unwavering commitment to quality and safety, its high customer service levels, as well as its global manufacturing and distribution footprint. Combining Watermill's strategy-driven approach with Cooper & Turner's highly experienced management team, the company has an exciting opportunity to become the world’s first, truly global mission-critical-fastener supplier."

Ronald M. Krisanda, an advisor at Watermill and former president and COO at manufacturing firm, Milacron Holdings Corporation, will serve as the chairman of the Board of Advisors for the organisation. He said: "Cooper & Turner is a compelling business with a highly experienced senior management team, led by brothers Tony and David Brown, whose entrepreneurial vision and operational expertise have been paramount to the organisation's success. We look forward to working with them and their team to uncover new opportunities and accelerate the company's growth in the booming international wind sector and beyond."

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Tony Brown, Group CEO, Cooper & Turner, said: "We are thrilled to join Watermill for this next chapter in the history of Cooper & Turner. For nearly two centuries, this organisation has evolved and thrived – innovating alongside cutting-edge customers and developing industry-leading service levels across established and emerging sectors. Watermill's strategic guidance will be invaluable to us as we continue in this tradition of growth and progress."

Cooper & Turner acquired the former home of Manheim Motor Auctions in 2012 and, to support further growth, a new extension was completed in 2013 to infill the space between the two existing units and create substantially more floorspace. The site incorporates a 120,000 tonne stock holding facility and the group moved towards a full distribution network. Cooper & Turner and McLean Buchanan and Wilson (MBW) joined forces in March 2007.

Joseph and James Turner founded a gun barrel business in Birmingham in the 1800s. Having expanded the business into other areas, including rivet production, the company was amalgamated with Henry Cooper & Co in 1912.

Production was moved to Sheffield and the company continued to be successful, supplying products for a wide range of applications including battleships and Ford's Model T cars. Recent projects have seen its products used in the construction of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the redevelopment of Liverpool FC's Anfield stadium.

Cooper & Turner website

Images: Cooper & Turner


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News: Peck House demolition discussed

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Peck House, a long vacant commercial property on a prominent route into Rotherham, could be flattened for redevelopment as the owners begin discussions with the Council over its future.

The building on Eastwood Trading Estate, and its unique stylings, was the headquarters of Joseph Peck departments stores, but has been empty for many years, its derelict state even led to local businesses petitioning the council.

Now discussions are underway as to whether the building could be demolished and replaced with 15 small business units.

The owners of the site, Backer Electric, occupy the adjacent building where they continue to manufacture heating elements, supplying products in high volume to the majority of household brand names. Options to reuse Peck House and the site have been investigated for a number of years.

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Leading Rotherham construction firm, Eton Construction, has been drafted in to work on the plans which show that Backer's premises would remain but Peck House would be demolished and replaced by 15 units, ranging in size from 1,350 sq ft to 3,100 sq ft, facing Doncaster Road / Fitzwilliam Road.

In 2012 a petition containing 60 signatures was received by Rotherham Council from businesses on Eastwood Trading Estate, relating to the poor condition of Peck House.

Due to its location on the frontage of the trading estate surrounding businesses felt that the poor condition of the building was having an adverse effect on the rest of the estate and particularly on letting vacant properties.

A structural survey was carried out which found the building to be structurally sound and secure and therefore the Council has not been in a position to insist on its demolition.

In 1985, plans came forward to change of use of the retail/wholesale store to a church. In 2004, outline plans were submitted for a development including a hotel, restaurant, hot food takeaway and petrol station for the wider area. In 2014, Peck House was one of a number of sites discounted as the location for a new £5m primary school.

Images: Google Maps


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