Thursday, October 19, 2017

News: £50m Rotherham retail mixed-use development set for planning OK

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Plans for a £50m retail, office and leisure scheme at Waverley in Rotherham are being recommended for approval by local authority planning officers.

Land owners and developers, Harworth Group plc established a joint venture company, Waverley Square Limited, with Dransfield Properties, the Barnsley-based company that specialises in retail led regeneration schemes, to bring forward the "the piece of the jigsaw" between the residential and commercial developments at the regeneration site on the former Orgreave coking works.

An application was submitted earlier this year detailing some 100,000 sq ft of retail space including a 20,774 sq ft foodstore; high spec office space covering 38,285 sq ft; restaurants, coffee shops and a gym; a medical and community facility covering 11,464 sq ft; and a small bus station.

The application is set to go before the planning board at Rotherham Council next week with officers recommending that members approve the 12 acre scheme. It will also need to be referred to the Secretary of State's National Planning Casework Unit for a final sign off.

With the expertise of Dransfield, the scheme has been designed and updated to create a lively, mixed scheme including food and non-food retail, alongside food and drink outlets, offices and leisure uses.

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Revisions include replacing the hotel with office space, relocating the proposed 20,000 sq ft foodstore to the other side of the courtyard, and the inclusion of a pedestrian bridge and rooftop space.

The development is Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) liable.

A number of objections have been received with some residents raising concerns over traffic, parking and operating hours. Support has been received from local MPs and occupiers of the nearby Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) such as Rolls-Royce who said that the plans are of a "necessary scale and ambition to match the quality of existing occupiers at the AMP and will create a vibrant heart to the wider development that Rotherham and the wider Sheffield City Region can be proud of."

The application states that the development could create 700 full-time equivalent jobs and generate business rates in the region of approximately £1.5m once fully occupied.

Having been satisfied over the potential negative impact by transport and environmental health officers, the planning report states: "Having assessed the principle of development it is necessary to consider it as part of the overall planning balance. A number of benefits would result from the proposed development, including the creation of jobs and the provision of community facilities which include a health and community centre, bus station and food and drink provision. These are important community benefits that will aid in the continued sustainable development of the Waverley New Community and adjacent AMP.

"The other benefits of the proposed development include the regeneration of this previously undeveloped site to the benefit of the self-sufficiency of the new community and surrounding areas, the provision of permanent jobs and benefit to the local economy; the provision of leisure and recreation facilities and connection of the centre with the AMP via the new pedestrian links across Highfield Spring, which include the provision of a new signalised pedestrian crossing, bridge into the proposed development and access ramp on Waverley Walk."

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A submitted sequential test rules out sites earmarked for other uses such as Forge Island and vacant town centre units that are too small. The Waverley scheme is also not expected to impact on potential investment in the town centre coming out of the new masterplan.

An impact assessment recognises that the scheme will draw trade from some existing centres including Rotherham town centre but adds that the level of trade division and impact is considered to be within acceptable levels and would not be classed as "significant adverse" against national planning policy terms. It is expected that the new retail offering will prevent Rotherham spend leaking into Sheffield.

It means that controls are proposed over the gross retail floorspace, net comparison goods floorspace, along with a restriction over the range of comparison goods to be sold. There will be a limit on the A1 retail space and how much floorspace can be used for the sale of clothing and footwear and toys and games for example.
The planning report concludes: "The impact of the Waverley development obviously needs to be seen in the context of the wider cumulative impacts of committed and proposed retail developments in the local area. There are further retail developments which will add to the growing impact upon the health of Rotherham town centre, which is of significant concern, but after further consideration, it is considered that a suitably controlled development can avoid the claim that it is likely to have a significant adverse impact on Rotherham town centre.

"When these benefits are weighed against the impact of the proposal on the town centre, a balance has to be struck."

Harworth Group website
Dransfield Properties website

Images: UKSE

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News: Rolls-Royce powers Airbus A330neo first test flight

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The Trent 7000 engine from Rolls-Royce, complete with key components manufactured in Rotherham, has powered the new Airbus A330neo into the skies for its first test flight.

The innovative engine, the exclusive power plant for the A330neo, is the seventh member of the Trent family which has become the engine of choice in the wide body market over the last 20 years.

The flight in Toulouse also marked an important milestone for Rolls-Royce as it celebrates its third "first flight" in less than 12 months, the others being the Trent XWB-97 and Trent 1000 TEN, an unprecedented achievement in the aerospace industry. Each programme has brought together more than 20,000 parts to create an engine that then undergoes rigorous testing at a number of test beds and facilities around the world.

Before the first flight, the Trent 7000 has undergone a series of ground tests that has included: altitude, icing, cross-wind, noise and cyclic testing in USA, and endurance, operability and functional performance testing in UK.

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Eric Schulz, Rolls-Royce, President – Civil Aerospace, said: "This is a great moment for Airbus and Rolls-Royce and I am proud to see the latest member of the Trent family power this outstanding aircraft for the first time today. We have helped Airbus create a new product that offers customers a transformation in performance and economics. We are now focused on supporting the flight test programme and ensuring our customers have a smooth entry into service."

Drawing on the technology and experience of the most advanced family of engines in the world, key components include the turbine blades which rotate at 12,500 rpm, with their tips reaching 1,200mph – nearly twice the speed of sound. At take off each of the engine's high pressure turbine blades generates around 800 horsepower per blade - similar to a Formula One racing car.

The most advanced turbine blade casting facility in the world was officially opened on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham in 2014. The 150,000 sq ft facility employs 150 people and has the capacity to manufacture more than 100,000 single crystal turbine blades a year. The advanced turbine blade castings are produced for the company's most modern, high-thrust engines.

There are two types of turbine blade manufactured at the Rotherham facility: high pressure (HP) and intermediate pressure (IP) single crystal blades. There are over 65 in every iconic Trent engine and 182 turbine blades in each Trent XWB engine.

Rolls-Royce website
Airbus website

Images: UKSE

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News: Rotherham fashion designer opens Boneyard & Co

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A serial fashion entrepreneur whose clothing and accessories can be found in leading high street retailers and boutiques across the globe has opened her own boutique in her hometown of Rotherham.

For over ten years, Claire Middleton has been providing alternative style clothing to the fashion savvy, with her unique alternative fashion designs being found on the rails of the UK's leading clothing retailers including Topshop, New Look and ASOS.

Claire, from Brinsworth, launched her first clothing brand Alice Takes A Trip in 2006 with her fellow fashion design graduate sister, Lauren.

Following the birth of her second child, Claire embarked upon a second venture, pioneering Skeletots, an alternative baby wear range. As demand for the range began to grow, business savvy Claire decided to seize the opportunity and bring her designs back to her home town where her career in fashion began, launching a boutique to showcase her own clothing range as well as using her knowledge of the industry to support other local designers.

Claire contacted Rotherham Council to enquire about business rates in the town and the support available to new businesses and she was introduced to Launchpad; a free-to-access programme which is backed by European funding and helps entrepreneurs to transform business ideas into a commercial reality. Over the past three months, Claire has been working with a business advisor to formulate a business plan, pitch for funding and market her business further both online and in store.

Working with Launchpad, Claire opened her boutique Boneyard & Co just three months ago in Parkgate, and inspired by Rotherham's creative sector, decided to transform areas of the store into an art gallery and workshop, combining the world of retail whilst delivering workshops on technical fashion design skills such as pattern cutting and sewing.

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Claire Middleton, owner of Boneyard & Co, said: "I've always had an interest in alternative fashion and spent my spare time drawing up designs in my bedroom. After completing my degree I landed a job in an alterations shop and continued to design in my spare time but when I turned 30 I decided it was now or never.

"The success my sister and I had with Alice Takes A Trip was beyond our wildest imaginations and seeing our designs in the Oxford Circus Topshop store was a truly amazing experience. I decided to draw on the success we achieved with our designs to open my own store in Rotherham where I could sell our clothing whilst also providing a platform and hub to support other local designers.

"Running a retail business is very different to producing new clothing designs and I realised that to succeed I needed help. The council referred me to Launchpad and they have supported me from the very early stages of my business: from developing the plans to launching and opening my store. Like many new business owners, it's been a roller-coaster ride but the help and support I've received has been invaluable and it's reassuring to know that I can continue to call upon the service for advice and assistance as the boutique begins to grow and evolve."

Julia Millea, business advisor from SCR Launchpad, added: "Launchpad was developed to provide advice and support for entrepreneurs and start-up business owners when they need it the most and the free-to-access programme is available throughout the Sheffield City Region.

"When I started working with Claire she had already achieved significant success with her first clothing brand and knew exactly the kind of unique service and experience she wanted to offer to her customers. The challenge she faced was transforming the original concept into a reality, developing the Boneyard & Co brand as well as understanding how to attract new customers in a retail environment."

Boneyard & Co Facebook page
SCR Launchpad website

Images: Airbus

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

News: £1.1m price tag for historic town centre property

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A Grade II listed retail parade built on the site of the College of Jesus in Rotherham town centre has gone up for sale.

2-6 Effingham Street is described as an investment opportunity and is being marketed by property firm, JLL with a guide price of £1.1m.

The opportunity includes the freehold of four well configured retail units with separately accessed office accommodation above. The 8,000 sq ft of retail space is fully let by national retailers Greggs, Harvey & Thompson, Timpsons and The Cash Shop. The upper floors are currently vacant and are being advertised with the potential of conversion into residential units, subject to planning.

The sales brochure shows that the property brings in £104,815 per annum and the £1.1m sale price represents an initial yield of 9%.

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The brochure states: "The property occupies a prominent and 100% prime retailing position at the corner of the pedestrianised College Street and Effingham Street, on the eastern side of All Saints Square.

"The property was constructed in the 1930's and provides a retail parade comprising of four retail units at ground floor, ancillary accommodation on the first floor and office accommodation on the second floor. The property is Grade II listed, and is within the Rotherham Town Centre conservation area."

The property, along with the large B&M Bargains unit that surrounds it, are built on the site of the former College of Jesus.

In 1482, Thomas Rotherham, the priest who was appointed Archbishop of York and Lord Chancellor, oversaw construction of the Chapel of Jesus on the south side of All Saints Church in Rotherham and the following year saw work start on the Chapel on the Bridge. Thomas was also responsible for the College of Jesus on the site of his birthplace, accommodating church choristers and grammar school teachers.

Following the suppression of chantries in 1547, the college buildings were converted to a mansion, before becoming part of the College Inn. For many years College Yard / College Square was a focal point of the town; large crowds gathering to hear the proclamation of new monarchs, the declaration of election results and on other public occasions.

Parts of the college building survive incorporated into later buildings. The remnants are notable as the earliest surviving brick structure in South Yorkshire and formed part of a fundamental element in the development of Rotherham.

The walls of the college were repeatedly altered before being incorporated into present structure dated 1930 and by the architects, Flockton of Sheffield. They were thought to be lost but were re-exposed during internal remodelling in 1984 but are now encased.

A 17th Century doorway from college buildings was re-erected in the nearby Boston Park.

JLL website

Images: JLL

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News: Beatson Clark toasts gin revival

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Rotherham manufacturer Beatson Clark is responding to a growing demand for its glass products that were originally intended for pharmaceutical products as more and more artisan distillers look to make their brands stand out on the shelves.

The Greasborough Road firm, which has been making glass bottles and jars in Rotherham since 1751, specialises in providing glass packaging solutions for niche brands in the food, drink and pharmaceutical markets worldwide.

Forty-five more distilleries opened in 2016, taking the total to 273, as consumers develop a taste for small batch, high-quality spirits. Gin is particularly popular as it's relatively simple to produce and lends itself to a wide variety of flavourings to suit all tastes.

Beatson Clark, which offers both bespoke designs and standard bottles from its general sale range, is finding success with its apothecary range. The bottles were originally designed as pharmaceutical containers for medicines and tonics, and their vintage look and unusual shapes mean they can give a new craft spirits brand a distinctive, retro appearance.

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Fast-growing food and drinks company, BrewDog was among the first to use Beatson Clark's pharmaceutical bottles for its LoneWolf gin – they chose a 500ml Sloping Shoulder Flat bottle for the prototype gin they launched in April.

Charlotte Taylor, marketing manager at Beatson Clark, said: "Customers often ask us for something different from the traditional bottles in our standard range but without the price tag and minimum volumes of a bespoke design that’s unique to them.

"Our pharmaceutical bottles are proving a popular alternative to the usual shapes on the market, and they look fantastic – very distinctive and appealing.

"Customers can even have these bottles embossed with their own name, logo or design, and the resulting bottle will still cost much less than a bespoke container that we've designed for them.

"We've noticed a trend recently for brands to choose bottles and jars that were originally designed for something else – ready-mixed cocktails in a food jar, for example, or tomato passata in a beer bottle.

"This latest move by spirits brands using pharmaceutical bottles is just the latest expression of that trend, and it’s one that can be extremely effective."

Beatson Clark website

Images: Beatson Clark

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