Thursday, October 20, 2016

New: £107m infrastructure investment opportunities in Rotherham town centre

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The Infrastructure Investment Plan (IIP) for the Sheffield city region (SCR) has outlined that indicative costs for infrastructure investment opportunities in Rotherham town centre are £107m. The same plan outlines that opportunities in Sheffield city centre have indicative costs of over £4 billion.

Launched this week, the plan covers transport, investment-ready commercial space, digital connections, good quality new homes, improved flood defences and sustainable energy and will be an important part of realising the Local Enterprise Partnership's (LEP) Growth Plan, which set an ambitious target of creating 70,000 new jobs in the SCR by 2023.

It sets out investment priorities relating to the LEP's priority areas and private and public sector scheme promoters will be invited to submit proposals relating to them.

The plan shows that infrastructure investment opportunities have been identified totalling a possible £28 billion and that priorities include the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID), Sheffield city centre, the airport corridor in Doncaster and the A61 Corridor and Chesterfield.

The LEP also has a priority to see investment stimulate growth and regeneration in town and city centres.

It is recognised that Sheffield is the core city and main driver of city region growth, with Doncaster also playing an important role. The surrounding towns of Barnsley, Chesterfield and Rotherham make important contributions to the SCR economy.

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For Rotherham town centre, one key infrastructure challenge is the lack of access to mainline rail services. For a town of its size and economic importance Rotherham has only three services per hour, operating at irregular intervals and with comparatively slow journey times.

Earlier studies concluded that there was a lack of viable options for increasing capacity at Rotherham Central as dualling the Holmes Chord, which could lead to an extra three trains per hour, would cost an estimated £32.3m, and realigning the main line through Rotherham Central could cost £161.3m.

These options are not included in the IIP, instead it focuses on the creation of a new heavy rail station to provide access to mainline rail services to key regional destinations. At an estimated cost of £14m, locations including the former council depot on Greasborough Road and at Parkgate are being considered.

Flood risk is also highlighted as an opportunity for investment. The £14m first phase of the Flood Alleviation Scheme, aimed at reducing flood risk over a 3.5km (two-mile) stretch of the Don from Templeborough to the town centre, saw construction completed in 2008. It was hoped to continue directly into Phase 2 with further European funding but was hit by funding cut backs.
Implementing the Rotherham Town Centre Masterplan is also highlighted as an infrastructure investment opportunity. Due to launch in 2017, it is set to provide "bold and deliverable solutions for leisure, retail, recreation and town centre living." Projects include 2,000 residential units, the redevelopment of Forge Island, an improved High Street, a revitalised Bus Interchange, Higher Education Campus and Markets to increase attraction for visitors and investors.

Other transport investments in the IIP include improving the A633 between Rotherham town centre and Manvers via Parkgate, the A6178 between Rotherham town centre and Sheffield through Templeborough and the Lower Don Valley, and an additional tram-train stop at Magna/Templeborough to improve access to employment opportunities and support economic growth.

Last year, Rotherham Council identified that over £5m of work is required on the Crinoline Bridge, a key section of the A630 Centenary Way that plays a critical role in managing traffic movements through and around the town centre, forming part of both the inner and outer ring road.

The AMID could also help improve transport connections between Rotherham and Sheffield. Based around the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham and surrounding Enterprise Zone, the aim is to develop Europe's largest research-led advanced manufacturing cluster. Infrastructure investment opportunities include a light rail solution to alleviate congestion on the Parkway, further improvements to the surrounding roads, such as the long-awaited Waverley Link Road and improvements at the junctions to the M1.

Infrastructure investment opportunities identified for Sheffield city centre include remodelling Midland station, transport connectivity improvements to connect the Central Business District to the future HS2 station, new tram routes to the West of the city, highway improvements, support for the Sheffield Retail Quarter, improving broadband coverage and further flood alleviation measures.

Sheffield City Region LEP website

Images: Arup


2 comments:

Richard Goddard October 21, 2016 at 11:06 AM  

This SCR is just a way of Sheffield absorbing everything from everywhere else. Any big investments are going to be pulled in to Sheffield. We will be left with nothing.
4bn vs 104m....that is not an equal organisation. What is the point.

Anonymous,  October 21, 2016 at 7:40 PM  

Totally agree -the the SHEFFIELD city region is all about getting investment for Sheffield , the rest will just get the crumbs ! Rotherham population is just under half of Sheffield but we get as said a small fraction of any investments !

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