Thursday, May 24, 2012

News: Recognition for Rotherham regeneration project


The regeneration of Dinnington colliery in Rotherham has made it into a Top 100 list put together by a leading industry magazine.

The Top 100 Regeneration Projects 2012 includes development schemes in the UK that are receiving over £10 billion of investment. They are separated from straight property development by having input from the public sector or public investment.

The £123m Dinnington project centres on the industrial-led regeneration of the former colliery. The whole site has been successfully reclaimed and the first phase of development has been completed with over 40,000 sq m of employment space created.

Work began in 2000 on the £14m reclamation project which saw the 85 hectare site eventually developed to provide ares for industrial, business and mixed use and large areas of Urban Green Space. The site reclamation won prestigious national environment awards for the way bioremediation was used to clean 30,000 cubic metres of contaminated soil.

The Dinnington Business Park has transformed the area into an established business location. Inward investors include Johnston Press, who invested £60m in a state of the art printing facility (pictured, above).

Leading companies on the park include construction experts, Macalloy; Assured Fire and Security; Marussia Manor Racing; and innovative security company, Connexion2.

The site is also home to the Matrix @ Dinnington business centre (pictured, right). Operated by Rotherham Investment & Development Office (RIDO), the regeneration arm of Rotherham Council, the £3.4m incubation centre provides high quality office and workshop facilities, ideal for start-up businesses.

The sinking of Dinnington Colliery began in 1902 and coal started to be raised in 1905. By 1911 the colliery was providing employment for 2,000 people. It closed in 1992 resulting in 1,000 job losses.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the national housing and regeneration agency for England, which owns the site, estimates that 620 jobs have been created so far and expects 2,408 jobs to be created as the scheme progresses.

To move the scheme forward, the HCA recently put 17.86 hectares at Dinnington up for sale for commercial use under their property and regeneration programme. They expected the fully services plots to be sold during the first quarter of this year.

Pat Ritchie, chief executive of the HCA, said: "As this year's Top 100 demonstrates, regeneration delivery across the country is still strong and there are still resources to be tapped and different approaches to be taken.

"But we mustn't underestimate the challenges of continuing this success – a lot less funding from the public and private sector against a backdrop of continuing challenging economic conditions which is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

"Our best response will be a flexible approach through a mix of grant, investment, and the maximum use of public assets, while working with local authorities and other public and private sector partners. It is this locally led and integrated approach which will best use scare resources and capacity against agreed local priorities."

Homes and Communities Agency website

Images: Johnston Press / RiDO


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