Monday, November 21, 2016

News: WYG working on Rotherham town centre masterplan

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WYG Group has been selected from 14 companies to work with Rotherham Council to develop a masterplan for Rotherham town centre.

The follow-up piece of work will build on the work of consultants, Arup, and become an important tool in marketing the wider town centre to potential investors and encouraging further regeneration and improvement. It is also set to cover transport issues in more detail, including the preparation of a car parking strategy for the town.

It is set to provide "bold and deliverable solutions for leisure, retail, recreation and town centre living" and explains that "a step change in the retail offer of the town is required to revive the sector and ensure that it meets modern needs and requirements."

At a cost of around £130,000, consultants at WYG are expected to identify national retail trends, and the future role and purpose of Rotherham in an increasingly competitive market. A review of requirements for retail in Rotherham is required, as is an assessment of the impact of the new Tesco superstore and the possible re-alignment of the town's retail offer.

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Project director Andrew Clarke, who originates from Rotherham, so knows the town well, said: "We're looking forward to working on an exciting and ambitious plan for the town and building on the good work undertaken to date. I want this commission to be part of the next stage in the town centre’s regeneration and to help focus attention on the actions needed to make a real difference on the ground.

"The masterplan will take forward the improvements and changes envisaged in the Supplementary Planning Document and draw together other town centre initiatives. We will bring proposals to life and will test what is possible. We will ensure proposals are realistic and deliverable, striking the right balance of ambition and pragmatism. Our work will help market town centre development opportunities to potential investors. This is very much an investment plan geared towards unlocking positive change in Rotherham town centre."

The masterplan will also provide further details on how the town centre will be developed over coming years, including the development of sites to provide an improved leisure offer and increase the number of town centre residents, as well as improving linkages for people to move around the town centre.

Cllr. Denise Lelliott, Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy at Rotherham Council, said: "We are delighted to have WYG Group working on this key piece of work and to welcome Andrew and his team to Rotherham. Meanwhile, work will continue to develop proposals for key sites in the town, including Forge Island, alongside the masterplan. This will allow us to begin construction work as soon as is practically possible, whilst ensuring the developments sit comfortably within the bigger picture being created for Rotherham town centre."

The Council was working to a timetable geared towards producing a draft masterplan by April 2017.

WYG website

Images: High Flix / YouTube


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