Wednesday, October 27, 2021

News: £40m for levelling up in Rotherham and what it'll be spent on


Two of the three bids from Rotherham have been successful in securing money from the Government's Levelling Up Fund.

The competitive fund will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets. The Government has committed £4 billion for England over the next four years (up to 2024-25).

Successful bids in the first round of the Levelling Up Fund were announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the 2021 Spending Review and they included bids around Rotherham town centre and the local visitor economy.

The town centre bid has been allocated £19.5m and focuses on two key areas, the Riverside Residential Quarter (an £18.7m project) and the Leisure and Culture Quarter (a £19.5m project).

The Riverside masterplan focuses on the creation of a new mixed-use community, bringing footfall and activity 24 hours a day. This includes a major drive to repopulate this area and to address longstanding vacant buildings. The first phase of the residential project is being delivered bringing 171 new homes into the town centre.

£11m from the Levelling Up Fund will provide a new pedestrian bridge across the river between the new residential development and Guest & Chrimes and New York Stadium, the route of this bridge will culminate in new public realm at the end of Water Lane close to where new housing is being built on the site of the former Sheffield Road swimming baths. A Riverside Walk will also be developed to open up the River to the new residents and people walking into the town.

A land assembly strategy would also see the Council taking ownership of further sites within the town centre to continue its regeneration.

£8.5m from the Levelling Up Fund will contribute to this by supporting enabling works such as the completion of flood defences in the form of the Canal Barrier, and continuing the River Walk, creating a key pedestrian gateway to the development.

The Government has also awarded £19.9m for a number of connected projects which aim 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.

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.

Over 300 bids were submitted with over 100 successful in the first round. Absent from the first list is the third Rotherham bid which focussed on levelling up Wath and Dinnington.

Images: Google Maps


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