Tuesday, December 6, 2022

News: Rotherham bank building in line for revamp


Rotherham Council is banking on a private sector developer regenerating a key town centre site and is brokering a deal to sell off a long-vacant property for a small fee so that the scheme can move ahead.

The authority acquired the former Lloyds bank at 32-34 Corporation Street back in 2006 under previous regeneration plans but the economic downturn and a reduction in available funding has seen it sit empty ever since.

But now, over 15 years later, working with a private sector landowner and developer, and with a funding boost from the Government, progress is being made in the key area between Forge Island and the rest of the town centre where the council wants to see the Leisure & Cultural Quarter extended.

Members of the council's cabinet are being asked to approve the disposal of the property "at a reduced value."

Cabinet papers explain that the property will be disposed of to a private sector individual who owns the neighbouring properties who will then lead on the delivery of the development scheme at 30-38 Corporation Street - which includes the also vacant former NatWest branch next door.

If it all goes to plan, the scheme could create 16 new residential properties and 12,300 sq ft of commercial space at the gateway to the emerging Leisure & Cultural Quarter on Corporation Street.

The scheme is set to retain, refurbish and repurpose the landmark former NatWest bank for commercial uses and it is due to be completed in 2024.

With work on Forge Island underway to create a cinema, hotel, and six restaurants, a scheme for a riverside park on adjacent land is also being progressed.

An update to councillors on the town centre masterplan includes draft illustrations of new developments in the wider Corporation Street area where the authority has already acquired the former bingo hall and has long held ambitions to acquire the burnt out buildings at 3-7 Corporation Street, although a CPO may still be needed here.

Rothbiz reported on the regeneration scheme for the bank buildings last year when £31.6m in Town Deal funding was secured.

Investment plans from 2021 explained: "The Council have worked in conjunction with private sector owners to develop a mixed use and residential scheme which is capable of retaining the heritage features of buildings within the conservation area but requires some public sector funding. The Council also owns land and will contribute this to create a fundable and comprehensive scheme. This scheme will contribute to the diversification of town centre provision, opening up new cultural, leisure and residential uses that will increase footfall and regenerate vacant brownfield assets."

In 2021 £16.5m, including £4.3m from the town deal fund, was earmarked for an improved gateway to the Minster Gardens, enhancements to Corporation Street, and to support delivery of new residential development in the High Street.

The developer is expected to contribute the majority financial contribution to the redevelopment project at the bank site.

The value of the council's property and the disposal price have not been disclosed for commercial reasons.

Sale on the open market has been discounted with council officers saying that there has been no interest in the property and that, on its own, "the property is not considered to be a viable development opportunity for an investor."

A cabinet paper states: "The decision to dispose of the property helps to unlock further development funding. The transaction levers in external funding as part of the Council’s Town Deal. Grant funding and matched private funding are included in the Deal, the benefits of which supports wider Council priorities. It appears unrealistic to realise any gain from the residual value of the property as there has been no market interest in the property.

"A grant agreement between the Council and the private sector owner is presently in negotiation and will include development obligations to ensure the redevelopment of the property is completed in a timely manner and to a good standard. Sale of the site is contingent on this agreement."

To conclude the deal, the council will also need the approval of Homes England as the original purchase was made using Yorkshire Forward monies.

Images: RMBC


Anonymous,  December 6, 2022 at 1:18 PM  

No mention of a Weatherspoons then!

Anonymous,  December 6, 2022 at 1:33 PM  

Why not pull it down and have a .....green space!🤣

Anonymous,  December 6, 2022 at 2:36 PM  

It needs at least a couple more storeys adding to it.

Hopefully there is no parking for the residents,

Anonymous,  December 6, 2022 at 5:21 PM  

Would there be any possibility of providing a link to the council reports on this please?

Anonymous,  December 7, 2022 at 9:07 AM  

Great news.
Things are looking like they are moving forward.

Supported by:
More news...

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP