Thursday, November 11, 2021

News: Plans revealed for new Rotherham business centre


A new multimillion pound business centre is being planned for Rotherham.

A second phase for Century Business Centre aims to provide purpose built facilities to support micro and startup businesses.

The original centre, opened in 2000 and owned and managed by Rotherham Investment & Development Office (RiDO), the regeneration arm of Rotherham Council, was originally developed to help local people in the Manvers area of the Dearne Valley to set up their own businesses following the decline of traditional industries.

Rothbiz reported in 2018 that Rotherham Council had secured a grant of £1.6m for the project via the Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority (now the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority).

New detailed plans show that the authority is set to build 27,500 sq ft of employment space on brownfield land at Dearne Lane. "Manvers Incubation Hub" is set to include 20 workshops, 16 office units and two laboratories.

The new facility is set to offer high quality office accommodation and workshop spaces to help businesses grow, whilst being managed by a singular support team.

In its outline plans, Rotherham Council outlined that it could help create 150 jobs.

The application is from the Esh Group, who are assumed to be the lead contractors on the project.

Plans, drawn up by Barton Wilmore, describe: "a part three storey / part single storey office and workshop facility," adding: "The proposed layout comprises an office building which includes an open plan format which can be subdivided into smaller spaces subject to individual tenant’s requirements. The ground floor includes a high quality and spacious reception area, meeting spaces and flexible conference / meeting rooms. The first and second floor levels include identical layouts which can be accessed via the primary stair core."

Details around landscaping and a 60 parking space car park are also included.

The plan is to also use the Get Britain Building Fund (GBBF) and "gainshare" funding via the SYMCA but this may be problematic.

A recent update to Rotherham Council explained: "A project assessment of costs and project viability, building specification and funding options was undertaken, with a revised delivery plan agreed. However, due to the delays in the early part of the year whilst the deliverability of the scheme was reviewed and challenges around planning approval, the project is unlikely to complete by March 2022. This may impact the funding, which Government have indicated must be spent by March 2022 (GBBF funding for this project is £2m).

"The Council are also in the progress of gaining agreement from SYMCA for approval of Gainshare funding of £1m to support this new delivery model. The gainshare will support the increased costs of the re-designed scheme, covering costs to complete the scheme in the early part of 2022/23."

RiDO website

Images: Harris Partnership


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