Tuesday, September 8, 2020

News: Further funding set to flood in for Rotherham regeneration


Without the flood alleviation scheme in Rotherham town centre, the new cinema and hotel developments would literally not get off the ground.

Work is now at an advanced stage on the flood defence, enabling and public realm improvements on Forge Island, where a leisure-led regeneration scheme is proposed under plans approved earlier this year.

An update to councillors shows that works include the installation of sheet metal piled flood defences along the west side of the site and a flood gate on the north (Bridge Street) side, forming part of the ongoing Rotherham Renaissance Flood alleviation Scheme (RRFAS), which will eventually run from Templeborough to Kilnhurst.

A further £2.8m via the Sheffield city region is due to be approved for the project.

New 3.75 metre high retaining walls are set back from the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation Canal to allow maintenance of this historic feature, and this has created an opportunity to create very high-quality public open space, which will enable the public to enjoy this previously neglected section of the water course.

The canal footbridge adjacent to Rotherham Lock has been restored, new footpaths are being created in the form of re-used cobbles from the previous towpath.

The highlight of these works will be the construction of a terraced amphitheatre adjacent to Rotherham Lock which as well as providing a seating area will also provide access to the upper deck of the wider leisure development that is being developed in partnership with Muse Developments. A piled basement car park is set to raise the development platform above flood water levels.

An additional scheme on the site has seen the introduction of a fish pass at Masbrough Weir and future elements include a flood barrier at the confluence of the River Don and canal at Browns Cut. Pell Frischmann engineering consultancy has been appointed to work on the Canal Barrier scheme.

Council papers add that later this month, the Sheffield city region (SCR) is set to discuss an application for Local Growth Fund (LGF) funding of £2.8m to contribute towards the delivery of the Forge Island enabling works. The costs of the scheme are currently supported by a £1.5m LGF loan which was awarded in 2016 to fund the purchase and clearance of the site.

The latest application requests approval to convert the loan into a grant and to secure a further grant of £1.3m to contribute towards the construction of the flood defence works critical to unlocking the site as quickly and efficiently as possible.

LGF funding will contribute towards the costs of safeguarding the development and surrounding areas, providing a capital contribution towards the total cost of the site acquisition and enabling works specifically the flood wall, with the council and other stakeholders funding the canal barrier.

£2.1m has already been secured from the "Getting SCR Building" fund for public realm works around Forge Island.

Images: PWP Design / Twitter


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