Wednesday, May 19, 2021

News: Demolition work set to begin at Forge Island


Works to prepare Riverside Precinct and Chantry Buildings for demolition are now underway as part of a key milestone in the development of Forge Island.

Plans were approved last year which set out in detail that the site of the former Tesco store is set to be home to an eight screen cinema, a 69 bed hotel, four restaurants and car parking.

Historic England had raised concerns regarding the loss of the 1930s Chantry Buildings but the site on Corporation Street is being cleared under proposals that are expected to feature a 1,500 sq ft café in an open area called "Millgate Place." A new bridge is also in the plans.

Flood protection on the opposite side of the site has been carried out and high-quality landscaping has been created next to the canal, including new amphitheatre seating overlooking the lock.

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, Cllr Denise Lelliott, said: “We want to really make the most of the town’s natural assets. At one time, rivers were seen as industrial and dirty so buildings used to be built facing away from them, but times have changed. We also know how beautiful outdoor spaces and natural water can benefit health and wellbeing, as well as being a place where people can come together.

“We are having to adapt and move away from the more traditional use of the town centre, much like other areas across the country. We’re looking at what Rotherham town centre needs to thrive and that means thinking differently and looking at how people will live in and use the town centre in years to come.”

A planning application has been submitted for hoardings around the site whilst demolition takes place. F Hardwick Ltd recently secured an £87,800 tender relating to the work.

As part of the works, Riverside car park, which is accessed off Corporation street, will be closed for ten weeks. Diversions will also be in place for pedestrians accessing Forge Island car park from the town centre.

A £2.18m grant was approved by the Sheffield City Region last year to support Rotherham Council with the works. This consisted of £1.5m existing loan being converted to a grant and an additional grant award of £1.3m. This is being used by Rotherham Council for enabling and flood defence works and come with conditions that could see cash returned if 150 jobs are not created by the overall Forge Island project.

For the commercial elements of the scheme, Muse has signed a contract to deliver on the site with works scheduled to start September 2021 with Phase 1a, the cinema and restaurants, scheduled to open in 2022/23.

At the start of 2021 it was announced that Arc Cinema had signed a long-term lease to become the leisure anchor for the scheme.

Forge Island website

Images: Muse / FaulknerBrowns


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