Friday, November 18, 2022

News: Rotherham Markets revamp plans approved


Plans for the delayed £22m revamp of Rotherham markets and central library have been approved.

Detailed plans were submitted in June showing the refurbishment of the indoor and outdoor market space, external appearance, entrances and public realm. A new dining area with commercial units is a new addition wilst the new library will include a cafĂ©, meeting rooms, flexible gallery space, and a maker’s space.

In September Rothbiz revealed that the markets redevelopment had been delayed as the council attempted to fill a large funding gap. Rotherham Council secured funding from the Government’s Future High Street Fund to part finance the improvements but the project had a forecast funding gap of £9.8m following an update of the cost plan. Funding has been found from various pots including £5m from the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority's (SYMCA's) "Gainshare" funding pot.

The proposals have been designed to appeal to young generations and new customers, whilst not alienating the existing customer base.

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 updated Market Square entrance across to the links to other floors.

The roof, which is suffering from leaks and damp insulation, will be repaired. American Yellow Poplar slatted panels will transform the look and feel inside.

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.

The Charter Arms pub and the RAIN Building have been demolished and are set to be replaced by public realm in an area called "Market Gardens." The former arcade units will be refurbished to house the Community Hub for Citizens Advice.

The plans were approved without going to the council's planning board. Officers explained that: "The regeneration of the markets is identified as one of the key moves in the Town Centre Supplementary Planning Document."

Changes of use around the site - relocating community facilities and from retail to food on the first floor are considered acceptable.

Whilst Rotherham Council has policies to restrict the amount of food outlets clustered in town centres, and takeaways located close to education establishments, planners conclude that: "The provision of new dining facilities within the market complex (dining experience) are above ground floor level and therefore policy relating to primary and secondary shopping frontages will not be relevant (as they apply only to ground floor uses). These facilities are supported as it will enhance the markets as a destination."

The relocation of the library was also discussed with the markets site described "an ideal location" for a new library, close to the centre of town and transport facilities. Planners said: "There will be a loss of the facility located within Riverside house, however the alternative ‘New Library’ will be a substantial gain and should benefit the public by being more accessible with a refreshed modern offer.

"Accordingly, the proposed development as a whole will have a significant benefit to the vitality and vibrancy of Rotherham Town Centre, will enhance the markets as a destination and be of benefit to the community."

A recent update to the Council's cabinet said: "The appointment of a contractor to build the scheme is underway with an announcement expected in November. Construction on site is scheduled to commence in Summer 2023."

Rotherham markets website

Images: Greig & Stephenson / RMBC


Anonymous,  November 19, 2022 at 3:42 PM  

I don't wish to appear negative because Rotherham badly needs something like a great market, but, would it not be better to flatten the whole lot and have a vast outdoor market instead? It would cost a lot less than this plan. While I'm on, can anyone tell me what a "Desire Line" is?

Anonymous,  November 19, 2022 at 10:01 PM  

This is a welcome addition and should help improve footfall. The market kitchen concept will also help bring people into the market and broaden the offering. A desire line us the most direct route in design. In this instance I would imagine they're planning the route direct from the entrance diagonally across the market hall rather than the current grid design

Anonymous,  November 20, 2022 at 11:20 AM  

In answer to your first question, no it wouldn’t.

Anonymous,  November 21, 2022 at 12:20 PM  

Look how many markets are inside now stop wasting money.
There's still no shops around no more you reduced rent then go back on it its a ghost town it's to late and to many junkies putting people of from shopping there.

Anonymous,  November 21, 2022 at 3:30 PM  

Not only junkies, elements from overseas that make town feel unsafe,I often have to check on my Google maps app just to make sure I'm in the UK!

Anonymous,  November 21, 2022 at 4:25 PM  

I'll keep saying it until I'm blue in the face: notwithstanding other genuine factors, the writing was on the wall the day RMBC decided to make the car the enemy of the town centre.

Anonymous,  November 21, 2022 at 7:30 PM  

Elements from these comments make you soi d ignorant

Anonymous,  November 21, 2022 at 8:49 PM  

Great News.
We are moving forward now,in two years time Rotherham will have forge island leisure and a revamped market.
Well done to the council,let's make the doomsayers eat their words.

Anonymous,  November 21, 2022 at 8:52 PM  

I live very close to the town centre and go into the town centre all the time.
I do not see what the negative people see,I think I know why these negative people haven't been into the town for years.

Anonymous,  November 21, 2022 at 11:02 PM  

I've said this before,I work all over country and virtually never see free parking in any town/city centres I work,plus many paces now have fees to drive into centres,so your wrong , nothing to do with parking,it's simply Rotherham is no good for shopping and infact I can't ever remember it been as good as neighbouring towns and city's,and I'm over 60 yo,so can remember it back into the 60s!

Anonymous,  November 22, 2022 at 11:47 AM  

Rotherham missed the boat back in the 80s ,when instead of building an indoor mall /centre when it had the chance,it wasted the land on the pointless cascades and bus station shopping precinct,when it should've had indoor like Barnsleys Alambra and Fremchgate in Doncaster.Rkth

Anonymous,  January 4, 2023 at 6:49 PM  

Come on Rotherham Council why are you wasting the money that can made available else where count how many stalls are in the inside market you have taken most of them out to extend the cafe
Boots have moved out all other shops are following due to the lack of agreement of reduce rent you offered them to stay.
You are 20 years late of improving Rotherham.
Stop wasting our money.

Anonymous,  October 14, 2023 at 2:26 AM  

The outdoor market needs to be front facing towards the town centre and real incentives should be offered to encourage a proper mix of independent traders to come back into the town. Sadly if I'm honest I think this is too little too late.

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