Thursday, June 30, 2022

News: Ground broken on £5.4m business incubation hub in Rotherham

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Ground has been broken on a brand-new business incubation hub on Century Business Park in Rotherham.

Led by Rotherham Council, and with Esh Construction as the main contractor, Manvers Incubation Hub will provide high-quality, serviceable office and workshop accommodation designed to help micro or start-up businesses grow.

The facility will feature 20 workshops, 16 office units and 2 laboratories for 38 businesses.

This second phase will build on the success of the nearby Century Business Centre which was constructed in 2000 and has since helped over 300 businesses, playing a crucial part in the economic regeneration of the Manvers area.

Cllr Denise Lelliott, Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, said: “Providing high-quality office and workshop accommodation is important for attracting and growing businesses to Rotherham.

“The Century Business Centre site has been an undoubted success over the past couple of decades, so it is exciting to break ground as construction begins on this new business incubation hub at Century Business Park.”

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Rothbiz reported in April that Esh Construction Ltd was appointed as design and build contractor after the scheme was procured by YORhub’s YORbuild2 framework and will work in partnership with The Harris Partnership and RWO Associates. The total value of contract is £3,986,937.21.

Esh’s Operations Manager, Andrew Schofield, said: “We are delighted to get work underway on this key facility for local businesses, which will in turn contribute to a boost in local employment and the economy. As a business we are committed to delivering social and economic value in the communities where we operate. Throughout this development we will engage with local schools, offer work experience opportunities and support training for apprentices on site.”

The new centre will feature a central reception and lettable conference facilities for larger meetings and functions. Externally, the site will include car parking, cycle storage and electric car charging points. The workshop zone will have its own dedicated service yard for light vehicles such as transit vans and utility vehicles.

A fabric first approach has been taken towards creating a more sustainable building and renewable heating will be incorporated within the office spaces via air source heat pumps.

The site is located just off the A6195 at Wombwell, providing excellent connectivity links to M1 and A1. It will be managed by Rotherham Investment and Development Office (RiDO) which manages similar facilities across the borough.

There will be a focus on achieving a BIM Level 2 accreditation throughout the scheme, with Magenta Solutions Ltd leading on the BIM Execution Plan, as well as achieving a BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good’.

Esh Group website
RIDO Business Centres website

Images: RMBC / Andrew Heptinstall Photography Ltd / Harris Partnership

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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

News: Rotherham listed building back up for auction

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The majority of the converted Old Town Hall in Rotherham town centre is going back under the hammer.

Converted in the 1980's into an attractive shopping arcade, the Grade II listed building has been given a guide price of £370,000.

At 26,675 sq ft, which also includes space on the first floor, the property is currently configured with fifteen retail units including Joe’s Fruit and Veg and the temporary home for literacy charity, Grimm & Co.

SDL Auctions are hosting the auction online this week and are advertising the property with Rory Mack Associates as being suitable for bars or conversion into residential subject to planning. It is described as a "significant opportunity for improvement or redevelopment."

The freehold was last sold for an undisclosed sum after the May auction organised by Allsops in 2016.

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Quickly after the sale, tenants like LASER Credit Union found themselves looking for new premises as the new landlord refused to finalise the lease that had been negotiated with the previous landlord.

The privately owned investment firm, FCFM Group Ltd, did go on to invest in redecoration of communal areas, much needed maintenance, unit upgrades, resurfacing and jet washing of the central arcade, new lighting and new signage.

Renamed "The Mall," it attracted new and relocating retailers with rental offers but a request to operate a market was turned down and space was used by Origin Broadband until it went into administration.

Formerly the Town Hall including the County Juvenile Court and Assembly Rooms, much of the building dates from 1896-97. Designed by Mr Lovell of London it features Classical and Jacobean details. The Assembly Room building (not part of the sale), was built as Rotherham and Masborough Literary Mechanics Institute in 1853 and was extensively refronted when incorporated into the Town Hall complex.

On the site, but also not part of the property going up for auction, Pinders School Wear has recently expanded into 1 Old Town Hall, the long vacant listed building that was formerly a Burger King. This property sold prior to going to auction in September 2021.

SDL Auctions website

Images: SDL

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News: "Future problem solvers" celebrated at AMRC Training Centre awards

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The University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre has held its apprentice celebration evening.

It is the first time in two years that apprentices, their employers, teachers and proud parents were able to come together in person to recognise their tremendous achievements.

The centre, which has multimillion pound facilities on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, honoured awards winners and finalists from both the 2020 and 2021 ceremonies who were not able to celebrate at the time due to the pandemic.

Host for the night was Steph McGovern, presenter of Channel 4’s daytime hit TV show Steph’s Packed Lunch, who is a former engineering apprentice of the event’s headline sponsor - iconic toolmaker Stanley Black & Decker. “Starting out as an apprentice myself and now being here to celebrate such a talented set of individuals and fellow apprentices doing what I think, is such a great and fulfilling career is very special,” said Steph.

“They are literally our future problem solvers and I think what they are doing is the best path for a successful career in industry. Despite the Covid setbacks, they have still smashed it and I can guarantee they will have a very rewarding career ahead of them.”

The focus is on students aged from 16 upwards, taken on paid apprenticeships with opportunities to progress on to postgraduate courses.

The event, held on the eve of International Women in Engineering day, saw Bethany Cousins, project engineer for the University of Sheffield AMRC, win the Apprentice of the Year award for 2020 and Kate Todd-Davis take the title for 2021. Kate also won “Degree Apprentice of the Year.”

Kate, a manufacturing engineering apprentice at global engineering giant Rolls-Royce, recently graduated from AMRC Training Centre with a first-class honours degree in Manufacturing Technology, having already completed a Level 2 NVQ in Fundamental Engineering, and is now working towards a Level 4 NVQ in Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing, both delivered by the Sunderland Engineering Training Association (SETA).

She summed up her double whammy of wins as being ‘overwhelming, humbling and unexpected’, adding: "To receive not just one award, but two is a massive achievement for me and is a great honour I did not expect.

"Being the overall winner is certainly my biggest career highlight to date and was a big shock considering there were so many strong and impressive applications. I hope it makes others consider an apprenticeship, gets more women in engineering and takes away the stigma it carries."

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Michelle White, apprentice development leader at Rolls-Royce, said Kate is ‘one to watch’, adding: “I am so proud of Kate’s achievements and as her apprenticeship is coming to an end, I believe now is the time that she will really fly within the company.

“She is destined for big things and I hope she remains to be a strong female ambassador for engineering and she proves that anything is achievable in a male-dominated industry.”

New Mayor of South Yorkshire Oliver Coppard, who is just eight weeks into his new role, was thrilled to be at the event and marked out the up-and-coming talent in the room as the change makers the world needs.

He said: “Sheffield is my home, I was born and raised here. I know the talent we possess in this region is equal to any industrial challenge we must overcome.

“We have a huge range of exciting and innovative companies in South Yorkshire, and the apprentices here are the future leaders of their businesses. Their talent will change the region and change the world. They are the ones who will get us to net zero.”

Nikki Jones, director of the AMRC Training Centre, praised the apprentices for their passion, adding: “Seeing our apprentices up on stage filled me with pride and reminded me why I chose to work for the AMRC Training Centre - it is them who make this literally the best job in the world.

“As a team we are committed to continue our efforts in pushing these individuals to be the best versions of themselves and to help them become our engineers of tomorrow. Without them, none of us would be here at this celebration event and I would like to congratulate each and every one of them for their hard work, dedication and commitment.”

Professor Koen Lamberts, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “We are very proud of our apprentices and I am delighted that we were finally able to celebrate their achievements in person. They have an extraordinary impact on their employers - in many cases, improving processes, making them more sustainable or finding new and innovative ways to do things that save time and money.

“They are an important part of our University and we are pleased to provide both academic and vocational education of the very highest quality.”

This year’s festivities follows a virtual awards ceremony held in December, announced by Nuclear AMRC researcher and Great British Bake Off winner, Dr Rahul Mandal, who also attended the in-person event.

Now in its seventh year, the awards are a firm favourite in the AMRC Training Centre calendar and put a spotlight on both the apprentices and their employers who together are the brave and bold, breaking the mould to innovate, inspire and impact the way industry in the UK continues to evolve.

AMRC Training Centre website

Images: AMRC Training

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News: PSPO to continue in Eastwood

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Powers to address anti-social behaviour (ASB) are set to be re-implemented in the Eastwood area of Rotherham.

2017 saw the introduction of the borough's first Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in the town centre and Clifton Park after the Council said that it continued to receive complaints about a minority of people who behave in an unacceptable way.

A PSPO introduces a number of prohibitions to address the anti-social behaviour of individuals visiting these areas. By outlining these prohibitions it makes it clear what kind of behaviour is acceptable.

A similar order was implemented in 2019 in Eastwood, a residential and business area on the edge of Rotherham town centre.

A report submitted to Rotherham Council, which was approved at the Cabinet meeting earlier this month, showed that 90% of respondents to recent consultation supported a new designation which will run for a further three years.

Cllr Saghir Alam, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, Community Safety and Finance, said: “The consultation showed public support for continuing with the PSPO for this area of Rotherham.

“The new powers which were introduced to tackle the minority of people who make life unpleasant for others have had an effect but it is clear from the results that more needs to be done. We are pleased that Cabinet has approved the report’s recommendation.”

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Conditions in the PSPO include: behaving in such a way or using language that causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to another person; drinking alcohol other than in a licensed premises or event; causing noise that is likely to have a detrimental impact on a person(s) quality of life.

In addition, residents, landlords and managing agents, will need to put their wheelie bins away, as the council receives complaints regarding the street scene.

Any individual in breach of the PSPO is subject to a £100 penalty. Those that failed to pay this would be liable for prosecution.

Chief Superintendent Stephen Chapman said: “We fully support the application for the refreshed Public Space Protection Order in relation to Fitzwilliam Road. Numerous complaints are regularly received from within the community which relate to anti-social behaviour, and environmental issues including waste management.

“There have been 34 reports to South Yorkshire Police within the area for these incident categories so far this year to date, this is in addition to issues that will have been dealt with by officer intervention without an incident being created, or ASB that would be linked to other recorded matters.

“The refreshed PSPO would afford SYP and partner agencies the powers and tools to deal with such complaints in a robust manner, whilst also raising awareness to those that may behave in such a way that this conduct is not acceptable. The additional powers afforded under the PSPO would serve to reassure the community that SYP and partners are taking their concerns seriously and seeking to take appropriate action.”

Images: Google Maps

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News: Latest Netflix series at Wentworth Woodhouse

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A UK crime thriller spanning four time zones is the latest Netflix series to film at Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham.

Bodies is a mystery with four detectives, four time periods, and four dead bodies. It is an adaptation of Si Spencer’s graphic novel.

Director, Marco Kreuzpaintner, was on set at the Grade I listed stately home last month as filming began. The German director and writer is known for The Lazarus Project, another time-bending series that is currently showing on Sky.

Paul Tomalin, whose credits include No Offence and Torchwood, is the showrunner and executive producer on Bodies with Moonage Pictures also involved.

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The series starts with a murder in Whitechapel. Four different detectives are trying to solve the murder in different time periods: 1890s overachiever Edmond Hillinghead, dashing 1940s adventurer Karl Whiteman, kickass female 2010s Detective Sergeant Shahara Hasan and Maplewood, an amnesiac from post-apocalyptic 2050, who brings a haunting perspective. Together, the four set out to uncover a conspiracy spanning 150 years.

Other Yorkshire filming locations include Hull, Grimsby and Leeds.

Wentworth Woodhouse, which is being regenerated by a Preservation Trust, was previously used as a location for Netflix series The Irregulars, also set in Victorian London. Here, filmmakers used long-abandoned servants’ quarters and the Green Dining Room.

The house has also been used in the recent big screen feature, Downton Abbey, and the drama, Gentleman Jack for the BBC.

Images: Marco Kreuzpaintner / Instagram

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