Friday, November 22, 2013

News: Makers Emporium on Rotherham High Street


UPDATED 13:58.

A historic building on Rotherham High Street is set to return to its previous retail use and provide space for crafters and makers as work continues on regenerating heritage buildings in the town centre.

No.'s 22 – 30 High Street have been undergoing a refit as part of the the £3m Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) which is supported by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Rotherham Borough Council.

Last year, the freehold of the SNAFU bar was sold by leading business agents Christie & Co. based on a guide price of £275,000. In a separate deal, the first, second and third floors of the historic building went to auction in September 2012 with local chartered surveyors, Mark Jenkinson giving it a guide price of £120,000.

Remembered by many as the former Muntus department store, work has been done to restore the exterior and the new owners are progressing plans to convert the upper floors into apartments.

After the closure of popular bar and live music venue earlier this month, fitout work is now underway and the building is set to reopen in Spring 2014 and offer low cost retail space for talented artists, crafters and makers to sell their products and raise awareness of their brands. A dedicated retail manager will be on hand and advice and training will be provided as part of the package.

Last month, Rothbiz reported on the next phase of retail revival in Rotherham town centre that is set to include dedicated space for enterprising retailers to "test-trade" their products.

The Makers Emporium at 26 High Street is all part of the work being undertaken to redefine the shopping offer in the town centre through projects such as Pop-up Shops, Business Vitality Grants and the Business Development Grants. Rotherham was one of 27 areas to be named as a "Portas Pilot" securing £100,000 of government funding to support the high street. £268,000 was also awarded to Rotherham as part of the government's High Street Renewal Award.
Work is continuing by local businessman, Chris Hamby to create a complex of mixed-used retail outlets focusing on listed buildings on the High Street. The plan is backed by a £750,000 long term capital finance loan from Rotherham Council that has secured £677,000 of Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) for additional, much needed works.

The work is also part of the THI scheme that 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.

Next week, Rotherham Council's cabinet are set to discuss the provision of additional long term capital loan finance in support of the redevelopment of the Three Cranes and the Georgian Town House.

The former Three Cranes Inn occupied a timber framed building dating back to the 15th Century. An earlier wing consists of a medieval open hall block that retains evidence for a high status "coved" area at one end, in addition to the remains of a vaulted undercroft beneath. This building represents a potentially unique survival for South Yorkshire of in situ medieval domestic architecture on a burgage plot.

Previously used as Wakefield's Army Stores, the building has been empty for many years. The Three Cranes originally occupied one half of a much larger building with four gables facing the High Street. The lower two gables, which originally belonged to another inn known as The Swan, were demolished in 1963 when Freeman, Hardy Willis rebuilt their shop.

The grade 2* listed building is on English Heritage's "at risk register" as showing signs of structural decay and faulty rainwater goods.

Plans have also been approved for a comprehensive refurbishment of the Georgian Town House next door, that now contains the remains of the Italian restaurant at 29A High Street. It was once occupied by the Badger family, a notable family of solicitors and lawyers. A new Victorian shop frontage and Doric door will be installed with the upper floors converted into flats.

Makers Emporium website
Rotherham town centre website

Images: 3 Keys Property / Tom Austen


Tom,  November 22, 2013 at 11:47 AM  

I got this one wrong. The Makers Emporium is going over the road in what was SNAFU.

I'll update the article.

Interesting times on Rotherham's High Street.

Lizzy Alageswaran November 22, 2013 at 4:44 PM  

Do please send me information to share with local artists and makers - eg through the Arts In Rotherham facebook page.

Unknown April 4, 2014 at 2:55 PM  

Hi I would like Information about this plz as I have started ad a Jewellery Maker and would be interested in this

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