Wednesday, June 5, 2019

News: £7m for new Rotherham retail development

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Developers behind a £50m retail, office and leisure scheme at Waverley in Rotherham have had a £7m grant approved that should kickstart construction.

Waverley Square is "the piece of the jigsaw" creating a local centre for residents and businesses at the adjacent Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP). It includes 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.

Joint developers are Harworth Group plc and Dransfield Properties Ltd and the scheme will deliver some 367 net additional jobs.

The grant from the Local Growth Fund (LGF) has been approved by the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority and will contribute to Waverley Square Ltd's £42.7m plan which is at the heart of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID) and emerging Global Innovation Corridor.

Dan Jarvis, mayor of the Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority, said: "This is a great example of the Mayoral Combined Authority and LEP using our resources to make significant improvements to communities in the Sheffield City Region, as well as being an important step in the ongoing growth of our Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID) and the emerging Global Innovation Corridor.

"This development in Waverley, together with the ambitious plans for our transport network laid out in our draft bid to the Transforming Cities Fund, will build on the success of recent investments in the area from companies such as McLaren Automotive and Boeing.

"With the right transport and infrastructure in place, we can create a super-connected community where people want to live, work and play, improve people's quality of life and actively contribute to improving the UK’s economic productivity."

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Papers show that the grant support is to bridge a "viability gap" and that applicants argue that market failure in the local office market is evidenced by the lack of suitable SME premises resulting in missed supply chain opportunities linked to commercial activity at the neighbouring AMP. It adds: "Thus far, speculative development for SME premises has not been undertaken in the local area and given the short decision process timescale for such firms, suitable premises are unlikely to be developed in the absence of an intervention that enables some speculative development."

Duncan Armstrong-Payne, associate director with responsibility for Waverley at Harworth Group plc, said: "The city region's support is essential in helping to deliver a "heart" to the Waverley development, which remains one of the UK's most important brownfield regeneration projects.

"The local centre will deliver hundreds of new jobs in its own right, whilst supporting Harworth to accelerate plot sales to housebuilders and provide the facilities that occupiers like McLaren, Rolls-Royce and the University of Sheffield’s AMRC increasingly require."

Mark Dransfield, managing director at Dransfield Properties, added: "This is a major step forward in delivering this key development for Rotherham and the wider city region which will bring investment and a significant number of local jobs to the area.

"Our Fox Valley development has delivered a new town centre, creating 750 new jobs and has helped to bring real change in north Sheffield since opening three years ago this month.

"Waverley Square will be built to the same high standard, with strong architecture and attention to detail to create the facilities and services needed for this growing business and residential community. This kind of quality place making can only be delivered by securing grant funding so we are delighted to have the support of the Sheffield City Region."

A preferred developer has already been selected with work due to begin on site later this month.

Harworth Group plc website
Dransfield website

Images: Harworth / Dransfield

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