Monday, September 28, 2020

News: £1m for Rotherham town centre regeneration


Rotherham Council has been awarded a £1m grant by the Government to kick start regeneration projects in the town centre.

Rothbiz reported last year that Rotherham was one of 100 towns across England eligible for support from the £3.6 billion Towns Fund.

Working towards a "Town Deal" with the Government, Rotherham has been given the opportunity to access £25 - £50m and consultants, ARUP and WYG, have been brought in to develop a Town Investment Plan (TIP) with the focus on the economic growth corridor which stretches from Templeborough through the town centre and out to Eastwood.

This plan is due to be submitted in October but in the meantime, the Government has brought forward £80m to provide the opportunity for the areas to "drive economic growth and improve prospects for their communities, which will be vital as the country continues to respond to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic."

It is unknown what the Council's initial proposal is based on but the guidance advises that Government is "particularly encouraging projects that will support towns in responding to immediate challenges, including: the improvement to or new parks and green spaces and sustainable transport links; improvements to town centres including repurposing empty commercial properties; and the demolition or site remediation where this will have an immediate benefit."

Town Deals build directly on the government's commitment to decentralising funding and decisions away from Whitehall and investing in the growth of local economies and devolving powers through ambitious City and Growth Deals.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: "Our Towns Fund will help to share prosperity across the country and level-up. This £80m funding for immediate investment is a real boost for our towns and will help them thrive with investment in transport, technology, skills and culture.

"It will give towns across the opportunity to drive economic growth and improve prospects for their communities, which will be vital as the country respond to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. We are fully behind our high streets and will support local areas to build back better."

It was recently confirmed that Rotherham was not one of the areas to get a slice of the £95m Government-funded High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) programme. Allthough, it is not clear if the Council submitted proposals to Heritage England.

The authority is however waiting to hear on its application to the Future High Streets Fund (FHSF), set up by the Government to transform town centres and make them fit for the future.

Images: Muse / RMBC / FaulknerBrowns


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