Tuesday, May 31, 2022

News: Redevelopment comes at a pivotal time for Rotherham Markets

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Footfall in Rotherham town centre remains below pre-pandemic levels and councillors are concerned about the recovery and financial sustainability of the Rotherham Markets.

The markets has come under scrutiny just as an £8.9m redevelopment scheme gets underway.

Rotherham has a long history and association with markets since the 13th Century and in 1971 the market relocated to its current home and was renamed the Centenary Market.

A council review looked at the current needs and challenges facing the Markets Service in order to recommend short-term and longer-term actions in respect of revitalising the markets area and making the markets spaces more visible and inviting to traders and customers alike.

Throughout the pandemic, the markets never shut down completely, although at times 4-8 stalls traded during reduced hours. A few traders temporarily adopted a click-and-collect model, but this was not effective for all but a few traders and was largely discontinued.

Some financial assistance was provided to traders via the council and the retention of traders during the pandemic "was among the highest in South Yorkshire during a very difficult period for trading."

With dwindling numbers, councillors have "acknowledged the importance of rallying behind the Market Service in taking the Town Centre Markets in a direction that reflects the changing needs of consumers and maximises the future role Rotherham’s markets will play in the community."

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Setting out the issues, the report said: "Over 75% of members of NABMA [National Association of British Market Authorities] expressed in a recent survey that they regard the future of the market industry with apprehension. Contributing to this view are macroeconomic trends that mean consumers have less disposable income, prompting them to cut down on nonessentials. To make matters worse, footfall remains lower than pre-pandemic. Markets across the country are feeling this funding gap, but the service is optimistic that redevelopment can help close that gap by attracting new clientele."

Whilst Rotherham has waited for a redevelopment of the markets complex, Sheffield City Council invested £18m in building a new market in 2013, Barnsley Markets was redeveloped as part of the £200m Glass Works project and the new look Wool Market opened in Doncaster in 2019 following a £5m overhaul.

But now, having secured a significant funding boost from the Government’s Future High Street Fund, the markets redevelopment has begun in Rotherham. It is set to include improved entrances, a new dining area, a new internal layout, a reduction in underused space, and linkages to new, attractive public spaces. A new library on the site will include a café, meeting rooms, flexible gallery space, and a maker’s space.

The council report adds: "Redesigning the space to make it more usable and attractive will help generate interest and make the experience immersive, inviting, and attractive to shoppers.

"Members agree there should be a buzz about a market, and cultivating that buzz is essential. As the markets currently serve mainly an older demographic, the service hopes the redevelopment inspires a younger generation to explore a new experience."

The location alongside the college campus and university centre means that there is a target audience of 3,000 college students who frequent the town centre. Raising the profile of the markets with those living in new town centre housing developments and linking the markets to other regeneration schemes, such as Forge Island, was also discussed.

Retaining traders remains top priority for the service during the redevelopment phase ahead. Issues such as compensation and potential relocation during the works has been discussed. The service is also looking at case studies having acknowledged how "much better it is bringing traders along on a development journey than trying to reignite a market that has fizzled out."

Rotherham Markets website

Images: RMBC

13 comments:

Anonymous,  May 31, 2022 at 1:50 PM  

Good Luck with this one - its a waste of time and our money. Its not the place, its the people I'm afraid. Its good for the contractors and civils but that's about it. I have lived in Rotherham for just short of 40 years and I will certainly not be taking my family anywhere near the town center - you cant polish a .....

Anonymous,  May 31, 2022 at 1:58 PM  

Who would want to come into to Rotherham it’s a dump. Once again this council slow off the mark when towns around the area all invested Rotherham Council did nothing

Anonymous,  May 31, 2022 at 2:04 PM  

Love some good old positivity

Graldhunter May 31, 2022 at 2:19 PM  

More pie-in-the-sky gobbledegook from the Usual Suspects who will never acknowledge that RMBC's anti-car attitude ensures the market's and town centre's continued decline 🤣🤣🤣

Anonymous,  May 31, 2022 at 4:11 PM  

Wonder if it's coincidence that the market traders have halved in numbers since the giant Tesco opened just across the road.

Tearing down the Guardian Centre won't make the outdoor market more usable, it will simply create a more aesthetically pleasing empty space. By removing the units, I'm sure this will create a wind tunnel.

On a constructive note, I'd love to see Henry St re-opened, I think this would help to make the markets more accessible and a little easier to navigate town.

Anonymous,  May 31, 2022 at 7:27 PM  

As said further up...it's nothing to do with cars,it's nothing to do with Tesco....it's simply Rotherham is full of ...what's best way of putting this....Scum,druggy scum, thieving scum, alcoholic scum...both homegrown and from other parts of the world..simply put it's a cess pit of humanity.I await a complaint off usual bury there head in sand types,gather my comments won't be on long.Truth hurts .

Anonymous,  May 31, 2022 at 7:31 PM  

Says it all really Barnsley invested £200 million in there market development,Rotherham is yet to start it's £8.5 millions development.... couldn't make it up,RMBC run Rotherham like a small village parish .Useless and embarrassing!

Anonymous,  May 31, 2022 at 8:06 PM  

Too little to late, whilst the other nearby towns have finished their market re-vamps years ago, yet again Rotherham lags behind. Why spend money on this when they seem to have given up with the rest of retail in the town?

Anonymous,  June 1, 2022 at 2:09 PM  

Barnsley didn't spend 200million just on their market, it was part of the glassworks redevelopment project, which included upgraded market new cinema and library. I spent over 2 years working on it.

Anonymous,  June 1, 2022 at 2:28 PM  

People commenting that Rotherham is a s##thole and you will never step foot there again, then moaning there's no shops left. Why would a shop open in town when you are all never going to shop there. Not a very good business plan is it. It's a catch 22 situation. What would you all do differently to get people back? Constructive ideas are what we need not just the usual blaming everyone else.

Anonymous,  June 1, 2022 at 6:52 PM  

Yeah and what dose Rotherhams market and forge island development add up to?A lot less than £200 million,as said RMBC run Rotherham like a small parish council,we deserve much much more!

Anonymous,  June 1, 2022 at 6:53 PM  

Purge town centre of all it's desirable scum would be a start!

Anonymous,  June 2, 2022 at 7:44 PM  

What is or are "desirable scum"?

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