Monday, June 13, 2022

News: Further details revealed for revamped Rotherham markets and library

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Detailed plans are finally on the table for the redevelopment of Rotherham markets, complete with a new chapter for a central library.

An £8.9m redevelopment scheme recently got underway at the Centenary Market site - the home of the markets since 1971.

The indoor markets are set to get a new layout and timber effect ceiling whilst the outdoor market's canopy roof is set to be replaced. A new dining area with commercial units is a new addition, along with much improved public realm.

A new library will include a café, meeting rooms, flexible gallery space, and a maker’s space.

New planning documents show that the refurbished indoor market will get a new configuration for the stalls, replacing the grid pattern to incorporate a main "desire line" to connect the Market Square entrance across to the links to other floors.

The roof, which is suffering from leaks and damp insulation, will be repaired, with some glazing reduced to stop the building (and food being sold) getting too hot. American Yellow Poplar slatted panels will transform the look and feel inside.

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The plans, drawn up by Greig & Stephenson Architects for Rotherham Council, explain: "The refurbishment of the Indoor market will result in a totally different look, which will make it more appealing to young generations and new customers, while not alienating the existing customer base - which together will contribute to its vitality.

"The timber treatment will confer the market environment with a more warm and welcoming atmosphere and will be valued by the painting of the existing primary structure in dark colour and a new stall layout.

"The proposal aims to build around the existing mixed offer and complement it with a dining area at the first floor, which will link the indoor market to the new outdoor covered market and which could extend the activity of the market outside of market hours."

Between the indoor and outdoor market, plans show that three bays of the existing market wing will be demolished and replaced by a double height dining area with and industrial look similar to food stalls at Spitalfields Market in London.

A seating area will be surrounded by six units for food vendors and a communal kitchen.

The new outdoor covered market is intended to be used predominantly as a market, but occasionally also for exhibitions and events.

The existing tensile fabric roof, which only dates from 1997, is to be replaced with a lightweight system and ceiling cladding in slatted timber. This has "had a positive improvement of the elevation which presents to the new public realm and Eastwood Lane."

Demolition work is underway on the Charter Arms pub and the RAIN Building, which will be replaced by public realm in an area called "Market Gardens" - an inclusive space, not only for market customers but also for town centre users. The proposals include bold planting areas and terraces that respond to the level change. The creation of a lower level events / spill out space and variety of seating opportunities are incorporated.

The plans also show that the entrance at Market Square will be re-clad and illuminated "to better announce this destination." Market Square itself will become a green space, with planting islands accommodating a range of seating opportunities, new planting and mature existing trees.

Shopfronts along Howard Street are also set to be refreshed and the former arcade units opposite the RAIN Building will be refurbished to house the Community Hub for Citizens Advice.

Plans for the new library, which the council has earmarked, £5.7m for, show that it will take an L-shape, replacing the severely underused retail units facing Drummond Street and Henry Street. The 1970's Guardian Centre building was to be reused but it was unsuitable for a modern library and in a bad state of repair.

The council previously admitted that borrowing and physical visits never recovered from the dip that followed the transfer of library location from Walker Place to Riverside House in 2012.

The new location, and its links to the interchange, Tesco, College campus, and revamped markets "should allow the new library offering to increase footfall and therefore its use."

As well as the main library functions, other aspects for thre three floors inlcude a small café, meeting and conference space, flexible gallery space, business library, free Wi-Fi and free access to computers, and maker space facilities for use by schools and the public.

Opaque and translucent glass is designed to create an inviting look to Drummond Street with a feature box entrance on the corner.

The plans add: "The proposed building will create a vibrant and modern library facility which relocates the library back into the town centre and links with the adjacent new markets redevelopment and landscaped gardens to form a town centre destination for the users of Rotherham.

"The intention is to use the combined attraction of the markets, landscaping and library, as well as the adjacent college and other facilities, to create a destination and reinvigorate this underused area of town."

Rotherham Council is hosting public consultation events in the town centre this week.

Cllr Denise Lelliott, Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, said: “The refurbishment will provide an accessible and modern market and library, complemented by a vibrant new dining area.

“The second floor will be revamped to include contemporary office spaces for charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups. This scheme is another key part of the Town Centre Masterplan as we look to create multi-purpose spaces for the people of Rotherham in the heart of their town.”

Rotherham Council secured funding from the Government’s Future High Street Fund to part finance the improvements and completion at the markets and library has been pencilled in for 2024.

Rotherham Markets website

Images: Greig & Stephenson / RMBC

6 comments:

Anonymous,  June 13, 2022 at 3:05 PM  

The designs for the new market look modern and fresh, just what is needed. The addition of a food offering should also prove popular, particularly with the improved college access making it easier to access. We'll thought out and likely to increase footfall.

Anonymous,  June 14, 2022 at 12:04 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous,  June 14, 2022 at 1:54 PM  

There is no need for offensive comments.

Anonymous,  June 15, 2022 at 11:12 AM  

Just truth ,but some people obviously don't like it.....but of course that today's society,only free speech,while the woke disagree!

Michael,  June 15, 2022 at 4:38 PM  

It is not "today's society" it is just common politeness and decency. If you wish to make a comment do so in an intelligent and respectful manner without resorting to making derogatory comments or ostracizing others.

Anonymous,  June 15, 2022 at 6:38 PM  

One thing is for sure after all the work in the town centre is finished it is going to look great but looks are not everything it has to attract people who have a certain amount of wealth who want to live in the town centre, the whole future of Rotherham depends on this happening.

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