Monday, July 15, 2019

News: Rotherham town centre funding bid goes forward to next stage


Rotherham town centre has been shortlisted for part of a £675m fund designed to help communities reinvent their high streets.

Rothbiz reported earlier this year that Rotherham Council made an application to the Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) set up to transform town centres and make them fit for the future.

Rotherham's bid is one of around 50 areas across the country successfully going through to the next phase. The FHSF will contribute up to a maximum of £25m to each successful place but the Government expects to see a range of project sizes coming forward, many of which are in the region of £5-10m per town centre.

Rotherham – along with the other shortlisted areas - will receive up to £150,000 of new funding to work up a detailed project proposal, based on its initial plan.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will work closely with each place to help them develop schemes in preparation for making a bid.

Although specific schemes are still to be agreed, the initial application focused on supporting the delivery of the town centre masterplan.


Cllr. Denise Lelliott, Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy at Rotherham Council, said: "This is great news for Rotherham but we recognise that we need to do a lot more work to build the business case for funding.

"Working with our partners, we are laying solid foundations for regeneration, with the new University Centre, refurbished bus station and Tram Train. Our Town Centre Masterplan sets out our vision, moving towards a more diverse mix of uses with a focus on residential and leisure, quality open spaces, public realm and better connectivity.

"This is a big plan and we needed to be big. It was not about scaling the plan to fit the Council's budget. Now that the vision and masterplan are in place, the priority is to find the funding to make it real."

The Council will now work with local stakeholders to prioritise the key projects it wishes to take forward, which will support the masterplan to have more people living, working and spending their leisure time there. This could include opportunities for environmental improvements, better connectivity, and more homes in the heart of the town.

Millions in Government funding has been used to support heritage-led regeneration and independent retailers in Rotherham town centre over the last ten years. In 2015, Rotherham was successful in the best town centre category in the Great British High Streets Awards, a Government-backed competition to find and celebrate the nation's best high streets.

Images: RMBC


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