Sunday, March 29, 2020

News: First showing for new Rotherham cinema plans

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Details of the proposed new Rotherham cinema have been premiered with the submission of a planning application for the wider Forge Island regeneration project.

The application sets out in detail that the site of the former Tesco store in Rotherham town centre is set to be home to an eight screen cinema, a 69 bed hotel, four restaurants and car parking.

Adjacent sites are set to feature a new café on the site of the current Riverside precinct with land by the river and on the former courts building earmarked for future residential phases.

Contracts were exchanged at the end of 2019 between urban regeneration specialist, Muse Developments, and Rotherham Council, for the leisure-led mixed use development which is designed to act as a catalyst for the town centre.

A 340 space car park, to be operated by the council, is to be created on the main Forge Island site with the new buildings on a podium above taking them higher than the 1 in 100 flood risk level. Entry to the car park is to continue from Bridge Street and Market Street as it does currently.

The plans, submitted by WYG consultants, state: "The development of Forge Island is an opportunity to improve the social fabric of Rotherham. The creation of a major destination will not only attract new visitors to Rotherham town centre but boost local employment through retaining footfall.

"Key to this new leisure offer will be the provision of a new cinema, aligned with family orientated restaurants and a hotel and a new café that will re-position Rotherham town centre as a vibrant evening and weekend destination, lengthening dwell times and creating a more active evening economy.

"High quality new public space will be delivered at the heart of the development providing an area of public realm that can be used for a range of events which broaden the cultural offer of the town centre."

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Rothbiz reported earlier this month that the cinema would be larger than previously anticipated.

Described as "a keystone to the masterplan" the cinema is the largest building in the scheme at 25,000 sq ft and is positioned at the south of Forge Island. Either side of the cinema's foyer are two restaurant units (2,500 sq and 3,000 sq ft), which have the potential for mezzanine levels. Plans show five screens with between 125 and 143 seats and three smaller screens of between 50 and 83 seats.

The design approach developed by FaulknerBrowns Architects looked to the strong industrial heritage of the site which was historically home to a foundry and an iron works. The cinema design incorporates a saw-tooth roof profile with a metal cap and a robust brick podium base.

The four storey hotel at the north of the site has also been designed with a metal top and brick base in grey giving it a separate identity to the cinema. The top element is also clad in metal. The hotel building includes a foyer which connects through to a 40 cover café/bar area plus a separate 2,500 sq ft restaurant unit.

A separate building adjacent to the hotel is a further 5,400 sq ft restaurant in a prime position close to a new pedestrian bridge to connect Forge Island with the rest of the town centre.

The podium also creates a new area of public realm to form the heart of the new leisure destination. The podium and buildings are coordinated around a central area to be called "Forge Square" complete with crankshaft and steel roller seating. A landscaped area called "Riverside Approach" is also planned.

Movement through, and around the site, is designed to offer views to key landmarks, including Rotherham Minster, and provide legibility and promote greater connectivity with the River Don and Canal. Flood alleviation works are already underway and Rotherham Council's plans include a terraced amphitheatre relating to Rotherham Lock.

The application confirms that the Council-owned Riverside Precinct and the Equity Chambers building on Corporation Street are to be demolished to make way for a 1,500 sq ft café in another open area called "Millgate Place."

The proposed foot / cycle bridge connecting Millgate Place and Forge Square is also set to nod to Rotherham's industrial heritage and play homage to Donald Bailey and the Bailey Bridge.

Submitted as a hybrid application, the developers have included outline plans for later phases - 50 riverside residential units on land known as the abattoir site behind Market Street and 70 residential units on the site of the former courts buildings.

The cleared site off Main Street is set to be used as a temporary car park to enable a phased approach to construction. The cinema and two restaurants, plus the Millgate Place site could be brought forward before the hotel and large restaurant.

Forge Island website



Images: Muse / RMBC / FaulknerBrowns

13 comments:

Mr me March 30, 2020 at 11:45 AM  

Thought the plans were for parking underneath the buildings designed to flood? A lot of valuable space that could've also been developed been wasted on car park, it would seem, small scale when it could be much larger.This is Rotherham though, another missed opportunity

Rod March 30, 2020 at 12:16 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous,  March 30, 2020 at 2:21 PM  

When do we find out who the cinema and hotel operators are?

Anonymous,  March 31, 2020 at 11:22 PM  

Would hope the residential units planned are appermemts in blocks, not houses, town centres are not places for town houses,you rarely if ever come across houses in centres, always apartment blocks.

Anonymous,  March 31, 2020 at 11:23 PM  

Those roofs, look shite!

Mr me March 31, 2020 at 11:34 PM  

Have noticed that Rotherham developments are always small, while other towns go high, Rotherham seems to be terrified to build over 6 floors, strange when land is short?

John Hensby April 1, 2020 at 2:52 PM  

Mr Me, I agree with you. I think it sends the wrong message of small time attitude.

It started back in the 50s when the borough council decided to follow the example set by York whereby, wherever possible, they wanted people to be able to view the Minster from anywhere in the city centre. Our councillors had the same philosophy for the then All Saints Church (now our very own minster).

Whether the policy has been, or continues to be, a success is open to debate. Most people I meet from outside of Rotherham just say to me, "its such a small town".

Anonymous,  April 2, 2020 at 3:40 AM  

If council are to operate the car park, are we to take that it won't be free parking? If not why go to this cinema when you can drive 5 mins down road to meadowhall and park for free? Hope they have sense to give free parking for this development or can see it being a flop!

Mr me April 2, 2020 at 2:52 PM  

Yes John Hensby, yet York and Lincoln now have high rise buildings and even Barnsley!!!!!!! Yet "little old Rotherham, which is actually larger than all of em, as buildings like" Trumpton"(70s children's programme, based around a little town) 😂

Anonymous,  April 3, 2020 at 2:48 PM  

Rotherham always seems to lack ambition unlike neighboring towns, and unless developments like this work we are in danger of just becoming a suberb of Sheffield! The proposed low rise houses in a prime location are an example! As mentioned above trumpton springs to mind!

John Hensby April 3, 2020 at 6:50 PM  

We're not even Trumpton. We are Chigley.

Mr me April 6, 2020 at 7:59 PM  

John, more like Candlewick Green! 😂Showing our ages now!

Anonymous,  April 17, 2020 at 4:42 AM  

Why no bowling? Surely a missed trick on a "leisure" development?

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