Wednesday, August 20, 2008

News: Historic milestone in £390m YES! Project


The people behind Europe’s largest covered leisure, entertainment and sports complex cleared the final hurdle late yesterday. AIM-listed developer Oak Holdings plc and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council signed the crucial legal document, the Development Agreement, which allows the YES! Project to go ahead. Work is expected to start around the end of this year, and be complete by 2012. As well as environmental improvements to the 327-acre former coalfield site, YES! will be a 1.2m sq ft covered fully-integrated mixed-use resort, including conference facilities. The centre will be technology driven, with features such as virtual reality. YES! will also have an Olympic-scale white-water kayaking course, and its location, Rotherham’s Rother Valley Country Park, has been accepted on the list of potential training bases for the 2012 Olympics. Oak’s chief executive, Steve Lewis, said at the ceremony at Rotherham Town Hall: "Today’s signing formalises the Cabinet’s approval and we can now move confidently towards gaining tenant commitment. Rotherham is just the supreme location – more than a million people within thirty minutes’ drive-time, and half the UK population within two-and-a-half hours’." Council leader Cllr Roger Stone said: "This is a significant milestone in bringing the YES! Project from vision to reality. The development will boost not just the local but the regional economy. And together with other visitor destinations across South Yorkshire it will really put the area on the leisure, sport and entertainment map." The Agreement, which contains the terms for a 250-year lease of the development site, follows approval of the Development Agreement by the Council’s Cabinet of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council on July 30 this year.


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