Wednesday, March 29, 2017

News: £12.5m loan for Rotherham bus station refurb


The Sheffield City Region Combined Authority (CA) is preparing to borrow £12.5m so that the long-awaited refurbishment of Rotherham Interchange in the town centre can be carried out.

Partners decided last year to focus on refurbishing the car park and bus station rather than a large scale redevelopment. Opened in 1971, the multi storey car park has since developed widespread defects. It is underutilised and "nearing the point of being beyond economic repair." The bus station, which has associated public safety issues, suffered a fire in 2016 which caused significant damage.

Plans were approved in 2014 for the detailed design of the renovation and re-cladding of the four-storey car park. However, the start date of the refurbishment was delayed following a decision to further investigate alternative development options on the site.


Talks have been ongoing between the operators, the SYPTE, Rotherham Council and owners Norseman Holdings on which option to take. A cinema and new interchange scheme proposal was developed but the funding to deliver the scheme could not be sourced.

The work on the car park will now be combined with the refurbishment of the bus station underneath and is set to be funded by the CA borrowing up to £12.5m over the next three years.

The CA is the legal body created by the nine local authorities that comprise the Sheffield city region that has responsibility for transport, economic development and regeneration.

A report to the CA states: "Serious degradation on the physical infrastructure of the interchange has led to parts of it being closed on health and safety grounds. SYPTE has a contractual obligation to the current tenant to make good repairs to the facility, and it has been judged that this level of investment is an efficient means of discharging that obligation whilst also securing an effective strategic asset into the future.

"The costs of this investment are put at £12.5m. SYPTE's Executive Board believe that this investment is the most suitable means of discharging their contractual responsibilities whilst also providing the town and the region with the bus network infrastructure it requires.

"Although the cost of this investment is high it is noted that other options are limited."


The paper adds that the costs of borrowing £12.5m are likely to be significant, and the search continues for other funding options, including opportunities to "re-role" other Government funding for stalled schemes to the Interchange project.

£3m from the reserves of South Yorkshire's transport budget has previously been put aside for the works and a bid for funding was presented to the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority in December.

Revenue costs associated with the borrowing will be paid for over fifty years and could amount to a total of £22m. These costs will need to be met by the levies paid by all the South Yorkshire councils.
The refurbishment project involves resolving a number of issues including the repairs following the bus fire on stand A6 in May 2016, structural repairs to the multi storey car park and recladding the upper part of the structure and a refurbishment of the bus station to improve its appeal.

Jefferson Sheard has been appointed by the SYPTE as the architect and is in pre-application discussions with Rotherham Council.

Images: Google Maps / SYPTE


News: Pricecheck breaks £50m turnover barrier


Award-winning firm, Pricecheck Toiletries has passed the £50m turnover barrier as it continues to grow from its premises at Beighton Link Business Park in Rotherham.

Pricecheck is a leading supplier of international branded consumer goods, working predominately in the health and beauty sector, dealing with discounted clearance stock. It won the Queen's Award for International Trade 2015 for continuous and cumulative overseas export earnings growth of 283% over six years.

The second generation family owned business, established in 1978 by the parents of Mark Lythe and Debbie Harrison who now run the company as joint managing directors, officially opened the new premises in 2016. With ambitious future growth plans, the 115,000 sq ft warehouse is able to accommodate 40% more than previously achievable and offices have tripled in size.

Recognising the contribution that private companies make in Yorkshire & North East, multinational professional services network, PwC is highlighting some of the success stories this week and Pricecheck is used to show how a private, Yorkshire business goes from local to global.


Mark Lythe and Debbie Harrison, joint managing directors at Pricecheck, explained how being a private company enables them to be adaptable, focus on long-term growth and maintain control over decisions and activities.

The pair said: "Being private means more flexibility and adaptability to change, which is invaluable when it comes to often volatile foreign markets. The speed at which one can react to change is a huge advantage for any international business, meaning growth need not be stunted by sudden industry fluctuations, such as currency instability or recent uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

"There is also flexibility in choosing product categories, having recently expanded into food, drink and pet care, the business can "test the waters" for what works well. Another benefit is the ability to focus on certain market sectors, or target specific countries for export.

"Looking forward, now that Pricecheck has broken the £50m barrier, the next target is to double turnover to £100m within the next five years, meaning continued growth in all areas of the business, via recruitment, export and the addition of new product categories. It's an exciting time to be a private company and indeed a Yorkshire business with global ambitions."

Pricecheck website
PwC website

Images: PwC


News: Gallery floors made fit for prestigious Picasso prints


Dinnington-based wall, floor and tiling experts, A Cumberlidge, has recently completed a flooring refurbishment at the prestigious Cooper Art Gallery in Barnsley.

Specialising in wall and floor coverings, the sub-contractor was founded in 1947 and moved to Bentley Business Park in Dinnington in 2007.

Home to the Cooper Trustees' collection of 17th to 20th century paintings, watercolours and drawings by artists including JMW Turner, Wadsworth and Atkinson Grimshaw, the gallery's permanent collection contains over 400 works from a wide range of artists and is visited by many thousands of people from all over the world each year.

The gallery has recently been extended and refurbished thanks to a grant of £638,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the celebrations to mark the centenary of its opening to the public.

Tim Vaughan from A Cumberlidge, said: "The existing oak floors to the ground and first floor galleries were looking tired after 30 years of footfall. The Gallery team was very much aware of this and the imminent arrival of a particularly prestigious exhibition gave an added incentive to give the floor some tender loving care.

"We needed to breathe new life into the timber floors, restoring them to their former glory, so we stripped back layers of varnish, sanded and cleaned them before applying several coats of Satin Seal."


Lynn Dunning, Arts, Museums & Archives Manager for Barnsley Council, added: "We are delighted with the results of the floor restoration. We were concerned that the floor might have to be replaced altogether as it had been neglected for years, and so we were delighted that A Cumberlidge came up with a method to restore it with minimal disruption to the gallery.

"Being able to retain the historic features of the gallery is incredibly important to us – the end result achieves a balance between retaining the original feel of the space and managing the expectations of the modern gallery visitor. We were particularly pleased with the flexibility of the team to get the work done within our tight timetable before the arrival of a major new exhibition."

The exhibition the gallery was preparing for was a major coup for the town – 17 important original linocut prints by Pablo Picasso, on loan from the British Museum and on tour outside of London for the first time. Pieces include the iconic "Still life under the Lamp" and "Jacqueline Reading", which depicts the artist's wife and muse, Jacqueline Roque.

A Cumberlidge website



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

News: Rotherham-based Macalloy back at the FIFA World Cup


Rotherham manufacturer, Macalloy is heading back to the FIFA World Cup, working on stadium projects for tournament hosts, Russia and Qatar.

Dinnington-based Macalloy are world leaders in design, manufacture and supply of threaded bar and cable systems to engineering and construction projects across the globe. Approximately 80% of the company's turnover is from export.

Barclays has provided both term debt and working capital to Macalloy, which employs over 90 staff, in a bid to further boost exports. Turnover for the current year is expected to exceed £11m.

Peter Hoy, chief executive officer of Macalloy, said: "We've been trading successfully overseas for some time now but we're always looking for new projects and the funding from Barclays has enabled us to finalise an exciting deal working on Russia stadia in time for the World Cup 2018.

"We are delighted to be involved with five of the Stadia and we are now planning ahead to 2022 and Qatar. We have already completed the refurbishment of the Al Khalifa stadium where we were first involved with the renovation in 2006 and the Asian games.

"We are now seeing enquiries for the remaining stadia both refurbishments and new builds and are hoping that our experience working on the 2018 stadia will be an excellent reference for future work."


Macalloy has a history with the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world having supplied its threaded bar and cable systems to the Soccer City Stadium, the centrepiece to the World Cup in South Africa in 2010 and the venue for the final. The Olympia Stadion in Berlin, the venue for the 2006 World Cup final, used approximately 100t of galvanised Macalloy 460 tie rods to act as bracing within the steel work supporting the main membrane roof structure.

Often selected by architects for there aesthetic appeal, innovative products from Macalloy are used to provide strength in bridges, airports and buildings including the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai and the Marina Bay Sands development in Singapore.

Other stadia strengthened by Macalloy include the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, the redeveloped Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida and the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.
Neil Bradburne, Barclays relationship director, said: "With the recent exchange rate movement, UK manufacturers now have a worldwide appeal and it's good to see a local company taking advantage of market conditions and expanding for the future.

"This deal is pivotal for the business and I hope we see more South Yorkshire businesses taking advantage of overseas trading, expanding for the future which in turn will benefit the economy and create more jobs locally."

Macalloy moved to the former Rotherham colliery site at Dinnington from Sheffield in November 2006 as part of their continued expansion.

Macalloy website
Barclays website

Images: Crocus Group


News: City Taxis make Rotherham acquisition


Expanding Sheffield cab firm, City Taxis, has acquired Rotherham-based Skyline Taxis under its Northern Taxis brand, which has also opened new premises in the borough.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, comes as the Barclays-backed, £10m turnover company launches in the Rotherham area. City bought Chesterfield's Club Taxis in September 2016 and acquired Ace Taxis of Barnsley in July last year, preserving work for local drivers and call centre staff jobs.

Skyline, based in Wath, has been operating for nine years and currently runs 35 cars. All call centre staff and drivers will become part of rapidly growing Northern Taxis, which handles around six million journeys a year.

175 of City Taxis' current 1,750 drivers already live in Rotherham.


Arnie Singh, managing director of Northern Taxis Ltd (pictured, left), said: "Continuing the trend of last year, we are pleased to announce another acquisition furthering our services around South Yorkshire by expanding into the Rotherham area from our new headquarters in Greasborough.

"We look forward to offering our services to the people and businesses of Rotherham.

"Customers booking journeys will be able to do so through our user-friendly app, and Rotherham businesses will now be able to open corporate accounts, giving customers access to a modern, efficient, friendly and safe taxi service which makes a huge contribution to the economy and community of South Yorkshire.

"All of our Rotherham drivers will be subject to enhanced DBS checks and will have CCTV in their cabs – reassuring drivers and customers alike, and rebuilding confidence in the private hire sector in the town.

"Rotherham Council have welcomed our arrival, recognising that this thriving area of call centres is currently under-served by a taxi service. Skyline have been going for nine years and this move allows us to expand our customer base from their current 35 cars. All jobs will be protected."

Mehmood Hussein of Skyline (pictured, right), added: "We are pleased to have struck a deal with City Taxis and hope that moving forward our drivers and staff will see a real benefit from working within a much larger organisation."

Launching in 1996, City has seen a 300% growth in staff since 2010: over 102 call centre operators now support over 1,750 drivers, making it the third largest independent taxi firm in the UK.

City Taxis website

Images: City Taxis

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