Friday, May 4, 2018

News: Council moving out of Rotherham Visitor Centre


Rotherham Council is planning to close the dedicated visitor centre in the town centre, relocating services to the Makers Emporium on the nearby High Street.

The prominent property on Bridgegate faces All Saints' Square in the heart of the town centre. Staff provide advice to local people and those new to the town on places of interest and forthcoming events, as well as providing destination guides. It also sells a range of merchandise and tickets for performances at the Civic Theatre.

In a budget-saving move, the local authority is now planning to relocate the visitor centre and box office to within 26 High Street.

Transforming the former Snafu rock bar in 2014, the Makers Emporium offers low-cost shared and professionally-managed retail space to a mixture of makers, crafters, artists and designers.

£63,400 was set aside in the council's capital budget to facilitate the relocation of visitor centre and the authority has said that it will not affect the services currently offered or staffing levels.


Damien Wilson, strategic director of Regeneration and Environment at Rotherham Council said the move made perfect sense given the complementary services provided by the two businesses, and will help to secure the long-term future of the Visitor Centre in the town.

He said: "Local authorities are under continuing financial pressures and as the lease on the Bridgegate building was coming to an end, the Council took the opportunity to assess various options for where the Visitor Centre could go.

"The Makers Emporium was perfectly suited to creating a shared retail and information space, and we very much look forward to seeing both businesses benefit from the move in the future."

The vacated site makes up part of the historic White Hart Buildings. Whilst not a listed building, the property is on Rotherham Civic Society's local list which compiles properties of architectural or historic interest.

The society states that: "The former White Hart was closed as a result of the Ministry of Health's Order of August 1926 sanctioning the compulsory acquisition of the property for street improvements. The new public house, with entrances to Upper Millgate and Bridgegate was commissioned by Messrs Mappins Brewery and was designed by James E. Knight, Architect. The building incorporating lock up shops and a suite of offices was described as being late Georgian in design.

"The public house opened on the 12th December 1929 and closed in March 1969 following its acquisition by Barclay's Bank Ltd."

Images: Google Maps


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