Thursday, December 9, 2021

News: Further funding for Rotherham pocket park

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£450,000 has been identified to complete the delayed pocket park and high-quality public space on the High Street in Rotherham.

Rotherham Council purchased the former Primark building on High Street in November 2020, using funding from the Towns Fund Accelerator programme after the Government awarded a £1m grant to kick start regeneration projects in Rotherham town centre.

Demolition work took place in June and the authority had set out to complete the park by September 2021.

Approved plans would see 0.08 hectares of the 0.24 hectares site turned into public space will have a stepped profile and proposals include astrotrufed terraces, seating and trees, as well as branding features such as the red scaffolding with black mesh proposed to encase the site. This could be a space for public artwork, and / or large branding and signage.

Also included in the plans are three "pods" on the site which would be occupied by food and beverage vendors.

Now with a revised target date of March 2022, officers are asking the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) to use its gainshare pot of funding for a grant of £350,000 towards a £450,000 scheme on Rotherham High Street.

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The summary for the scheme states: "Providing an attractive and accessible town centre will encourage more people to visit the area and specifically address current safety and perception issues associated with the site. Several private landlords had invested in properties on the High Street including apartment living above ground floor shop units before Primark vacated the unit.

"Confidence in the High Street began to fade as the unit sat unoccupied for several years, by removing what had become a large negative on the street and replacing with a pocket park it is hoped that confidence will return and future private investment in properties located adjacent to the site and along High Street will become more likely because of these improvements."

If approved, funding will be used for technical design work and construction works to deliver proposed landscape scheme.

The project is currently scheduled to commence on site January 2022 with works complete April 2022.

Subject to necessary planning consents, longer term plans include developing the site for town centre living.

Images: RMBC

13 comments:

Anonymous,  December 9, 2021 at 12:46 PM  

Waste of money,town centre dosnt need any more open spaces.Save the cash and use it on more needed projects,donate money to charities in need.Leave site deriict while it's developed .STOP WASTING MONEY!

Anonymous,  December 9, 2021 at 12:47 PM  

Astro turf,that's very green and good for wildlife.NOT!👎

old git December 9, 2021 at 5:05 PM  

just what Rotherham town centre needs.... more green space for the druggies and drunks to loiter in.

about time we had a decent council that actually had some business acumen.
i can remember when the town was really busy, night clubs, bars, real shops (not just poundland rip offs) etc...
even Wetherspoones are leaving Rotherham.

Ziggy,  December 9, 2021 at 7:13 PM  

Have they overspent the money already secured? If so, what another mess created. As others say, AstroTurf isn't very wildlife friendly and lacks green credentials for a "park".

Anonymous,  December 10, 2021 at 9:21 AM  

We still have bluecoats, don’t that’s also leaving?

Anonymous,  December 10, 2021 at 10:47 AM  

Bluecoats isn't leaving,wouldn't be surprised if we don't actually see a new wetherspoons soon🤔

Anonymous,  December 10, 2021 at 5:46 PM  

I suspect the reason why this scheme hasn't come to fruition is because RMBC have effectively squandered the cash set aside for it. So they've gone cap in hand for a bail out.

Will a pocket part "address current safety and perception issues?" or will it become yet another druggies paradise?

I don't what planet RMBC is on with this, but looking at how amazing the previous landscaping work done in the town centre, it's not so much addressed the known anti-social issues, but become a magnet for them.

The pavements in the town centre are a disgrace with the amount of chewing gum stuck to them and improving the street lighting, better cctv coverage to make visitors feel safe. A bit of road sweeping every now and again and a tripling of business rates on owners of vacant properties wouldn't go amiss either!

Anonymous,  December 10, 2021 at 9:30 PM  

More high quality public space is preferable to another empty building and is a step in the right direction. A good move by the council.

Anonymous,  December 11, 2021 at 6:58 PM  

Anonymous,no it's not,it's more waste of money.Get the site on market to developers and get apartments built,which is plan anyway.Why waste hundreds of thousands on s park ,what will be tore up anyhow to make way for planned apartments? Absolute no brainer.

Mark Smith,  December 12, 2021 at 11:43 AM  

I too would much rather see an attractive public space developed rather than another empty building

Anonymous,  December 14, 2021 at 6:02 AM  

Wouldn't it be cheaper to have a signpost made that points towards Doncaster Gate saying " There's a park up there, Clifton Park, it's brilliant"

John,  December 14, 2021 at 3:59 PM  

I hope this scheme progresses as it will make the area look much better with the removal of an empty building. Also, the Subway restaurant is opposite so this will make an attractive area to enjoy a sandwich in the summer for office workers and the students.

Anonymous,  December 15, 2021 at 1:22 AM  

John the only people who will hang about there ,don't work and have little interest in sandwiches!More like cans of super strength,ganja ,and heroine!

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