Wednesday, September 21, 2011

News: Rotherham’s retail revival continues with the restoration of historic High Street properties


A heritage-led regeneration scheme is continuing to breathe new life into Rotherham's High Street.

Work is underway or about to start on four more key properties as part of the £3m Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) which is supported by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Rotherham Borough Council.

The project sees property owners and long term lease holders secure grants enabling them to restore, renovate and repair their historic buildings which are all within a conservation area. The aim is to encourage new shops, apartments and businesses to locate in the town centre.

Scaffolding currently surrounds No's 22 – 30 High Street (pictured top) where work is underway to restore the missing corner turret, repair the roof and windows and restore the special ornate features unique to the façade of the building. Remembered by many as the former Muntus department store, interior work on the current SNAFU bar is also taking place.

Further along the High Street, plans are being progressed to restore features at 14a and convert the upper floors into apartments. A planning application has also recently been submitted for the restoration of No's 10 – 12 where clothing store Caprice moved in over the summer. This building was custom designed for Boots The Chemist in the 1950's and the "modern" coloured glass panels will be reinstated.

At the top of the High Street and across from the recently refurbished Imperial Buildings, work is set to begin this month on the art-deco Essoldo Chambers (pictured above). The former Empire Cinema is now home to nightclub and Italian restaurant and the faded façade will be restored to bring back the building's true colour. The upper floors will be converted to apartments after the restoration work has been completed.

Councillor Gerald Smith, Rotherham Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Town Centres, Economic Growth and Prosperity said: "We are pleased to be able to support businesses, retailers and property owners with their redevelopment plans and help to create an attractive High Street that is economically strong and that people can be proud of.

"Rotherham is blessed with historic buildings that have medieval history as well as examples of Georgian, Victorian, art-deco and fifties architecture. These are character buildings that deserve to be restored and which cannot be found in shopping malls and retail parks."

One key building that has already been faithfully restored is Hamby's shoe shop and neighbouring properties at No's 32 -36 High Street. The restoration of the former Mason's Jewellers was completed last year after the building was cleaned, the roof and windows repaired and the missing corner turret and Mason's signage were reinstated.

The store's owner, Chris Hamby, recently unveiled plans to purchase and restore further buildings on the High Street. The plans will result in a complex of mixed-used retail outlets including an antiques and gift shop and a micro-brewery, as well as returning the medieval Three Cranes to its original use – as a real ale pub.

Cllr Smith added: "Previous high-standard Townscape Heritage Initiative refurbishments and the renovated Imperial Buildings show that heritage-led projects are an effective way of regenerating Rotherham town centre.

"Along with other initiatives such as the Vitality grants that are helping to attract independent retailers into the area, we are now seeing a lot more life back in Rotherham town centre."

Rotherham town centre website
Rotherham THI website

Images: Big Box Photography / Rotherham Archives


Supported by:
More news...

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP