Wednesday, June 30, 2021

News: "Levelling Up" with a stronger leisure economy


A £23m project to kickstart the leisure and visitor economy is seen as just the ticket to "level up" the Rotherham borough.

Rotherham Council has submitted three bids to the Government's £4 billion competitive fund that will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK.

One bid aims to build a new Leisure industry that responds to the challenges of economic recovery and health and well-being. It brings together a package in two parts which will kickstart the leisure and visitor economy, drive inclusive growth and new job creation at the heart of communities across the borough.

The projects proposed celebrate the "hidden gems" and green spaces that are unique to Rotherham’s heritage, and will help to reposition the town as a new leisure destination.

The Major Attractions package focuses on four well established attractions. To the north, Grade I Listed Wentworth Woodhouse would transform its Riding School and Stables to create new hospitality and visitor centres. £4.6m is required from the Government where the total project costs are £5.1m.

Also in the northern part of the borough, a £2.5m project would see Thrybergh Country Park benefit from a new destination waterside café and improved parking.

Close to the town centre at Templebrough, Magna would create a suite of new exhibitions, which will focus on science, nature and natural materials. The charity would need £1.9m for the £2.1m project.

In the south of the borough, Rother Valley Country Park would see a new ‘Village Centre’ created with a café, there will be new outdoor play and an educational centre. £5.5m is required here.

A second part of the bid is a skills package that will underpin the development of the major attractions through the creation of a new Skills Village (£1m required for the £1.6m project) at Gulliver's Valley Resort focusing on training, development, and accreditation within the hospitality and leisure sector.

Bridging the gap between school and employment, Maltby Academy Trust would invest £4.5m of Government funding in the £6.3m redevelopment of the former Maltby Grammar School to create an incubator space for training, apprenticeships, and start up support in the leisure and hospitality sectors.

Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey said: “Rotherham Council and local groups have pulled out the stops to prepare these bids in the short time given by the Government.

“I hope the Government will give the go ahead for this funding – we certainly need it and will make very good use of it locally.”

Images: Gulliver's Valley


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