Tuesday, November 7, 2017

News: Historic Rotherham manufacturing site set to be demolished

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The former factory and office block of Robert Jenkins Ltd in Rotherham looks set to be demolished having been deemed beyond economic repair and unsuitable for conversion.

A planning application has been submitted detailing the method of demolition for the large Wortley Road site at Bradgate.

Robert Jenkins steel works was built in 1855, and established a year later, the company was one of the earliest firms manufacturing boilers in Yorkshire.

Owners of the site, Ivanhoe Property Development has carried out a number of surveys of the property and local experts at Ron Hull Demolition have been brought in to bring down the factory and offices.

The "Ivanhoe Works" warehouse is clad in asbestos cement sheeting. The offices have been used as a snooker hall and gym in recent years.

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Agents for the scheme, Davenport Consultancy, state in the plans: "The buildings are dilapidated and the roof is structurally unsafe, they are beyond economic repair. They also contain significant levels of asbestos that needs removing. The combination of these issues render the buildings unsuitable for reuse or conversion."

The area was assessed as part of the borough's new local plan which initially indicated that the mixed use area should be changed to light industrial.

Specialising in all types of wrought iron, steel and copper boilers, storage tanks and manhole covers, Jenkins expanded and by 1936 the output of the sprawling works had increased to over 500 tonnes of welded work per month.

Alongside another local firm, the Parkgate Iron & Steel Company, Robert Jenkins Ltd were involved in the manufacture of Bailey Bridge components throughout the Second World War.

In the 1970s Jenkins employed more than 1,000 staff in its five divisions but following a downturn it filed for voluntary liquidation in 2003 when two customers went in to receivership and bad debts caused cashflow issues. The firm employed only a handful of staff at the time of liquidation but a shortfall of £1m was left in the staff pension scheme.

Approval of the method of demolition is required but work could start in December. It is expected to last six months.

Images: Google Maps

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