Monday, February 6, 2023

News: Rotherham's new investment strategy includes £28m theatre ambition


Rotherham Council has published a new place-based investment strategy setting out priorities for using funding across the borough up to 2025 and beyond.

It includes things like a new £28m theatre and the expansion of the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation District (AMID).

Replacing the Economic Growth Plan, the strategy takes a place-based approach, responding to the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) and the devolved "South Yorkshire Renewal Fund" which is set to fund projects across the region.

Looking beyond buildings and infrastructure to the needs and assets of its community, the strategic objectives include supporting and diversifying Rotherham’s town centre offer to increase footfall and create a resilient and economically secure place. Other objectives focus on manufacturing, culture, housing, transport, skills and inclusive growth.

Capturing already announced schemes, projects for the town centre from now until 2025 include the £45m leisure-led development of Forge Island, the £31m redevelopment of the markets complex, the £27m cultural quarter around Corporation Street and the £12m of investment into new housing along the riverside.

Cultural projects include the £2.9m expansion for literacy charity, Grimm & Co, and a £9m new library to go alongside the new markets.

Going beyond 2025, a new theatre is included in the strategy and has been given an investment figure of c.£28m.

Rothbiz revealed that the authority had applied to knock down the former Wilkinson's Store on Corporation Street and that the site had been earmarked as the potential location for a new theatre.

To develop the economy further, the strategy looks at expanding the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation District (AMID) which has developed around the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) and is occupied by highend industrial operators such as Boeing and McClaren.

A Land Supply review carried out by Aspinall Verdi consultants in 2022 identifies a geographic cluster for expansion at Templeborough and the opportunity for growth presented by the arrival of a new Mainline Rail Station "must be capitalised upon and the creation of a new industrial growth zone spanning a corridor between Eastwood and Aldwarke must be investigated and maximised."

The document states: "After years of under investment and declining economy the Council’s ambition and drive is now reaping success, the Council has been recognised as the Most Improved in 2022 and alongside its partners has successfully secured over £120m of investment in the Borough’s economy, people and infrastructure.

"However this investment arrives during difficult and changing times, rising costs and a reducing workforce impacts on business sustainability, the ability to deliver capital projects and surety over long-term economic future. The scale of Rotherham’s ambition in the context of current market conditions leads to an approach to investment which will bring focus to delivering current objectives. New investment will complement existing investment, retaining focus on priorities and delivering on promises. Rotherham’s place-based investment strategy will therefore be time bound and this first iteration focusses on investment to 2025.

"At the same time the Council and its partners remain ambitious and continue to plan for sustainable and continued growth, planning for 2025 and beyond and moving to public/private partnership approaches which will see less reliance on public sector interventions."

The strategy is due to go before the Council's cabinet later this month.

Images: RMBC


Anonymous,  February 6, 2023 at 3:22 PM  

A theatre on Corporation St could be quite good, assuming that it won't impact upon the council owned Civic Theatre. I'm surprised that RMBC haven't considered upgrading the mecca bingo which was actually built as a theatre/ cinema.

Wonder what they'll do with that, apart from the obvious (i.e. leave it for years and let it fall into a state of disrepair).

Anonymous,  February 6, 2023 at 3:58 PM  

Where can this be viewed?

Anonymous,  February 6, 2023 at 4:18 PM  

It is the old Cinema (Mecca) being redeveloped for a Theatre with an extension where Wilko was.

Anonymous,  February 6, 2023 at 4:53 PM  

Yes let's knock a building down an rebuild at a cost of 28m at the side of a purpose built theatre.....this council really does like spending money they don't have.

Anonymous,  February 6, 2023 at 8:27 PM  

The new Theatre will be owned by the council it will relocate,it will be bigger than the one they have now and attract more national productions.

Anonymous,  February 7, 2023 at 9:20 AM  

Hope it has better leg room than the Civic!

Anonymous,  February 7, 2023 at 11:50 AM  

Why are we pumping more money into AMID when Sheffield takes all the credit for it even the big companies allegedly helped by RMBC financially say they are based in Sheffield

Anonymous,  February 7, 2023 at 12:11 PM  

Probably still be talking and waiting in year 2030,things move a snails pace in Rotherham,how many years have we been waiting for a new cinema? Meanwhile neighbouring towns)city's ,plan build, open and use there new cinemas, Theatres, restaurants,/bars while Rotherham still has potential plans always a few years away.

Anonymous,  February 8, 2023 at 6:01 AM  

Not get much built for £28m especially when we're looking at several years in future,...just a thought,if its going to be the usual Rotherham attempt at things,ie:poor and usually to small for town,then don't waste the money and stick with civic!

Anonymous,  February 8, 2023 at 11:16 AM  

Just to put £28m into context. New York Stadium cost £25m, albeit 10 years ago. Even so a relatively small theatre shouldn't be costing more than a football stadium that holds 12k

Anonymous,  February 8, 2023 at 1:30 PM  

In context,Doncaster "new"cast theatre cost £22million and that opened in 2013,before inflationary pressures,so probably get something much smaller in Rotherham,as usual!

Anonymous,  February 8, 2023 at 3:38 PM  

They can't even get cost right on a small pocket park,so what chance of cost of a theatre costing millions in several years time!

Anonymous,  February 9, 2023 at 5:07 PM  

Great news that the council are looking at developing a new theatre. We love the Civic but a new upgraded version would be great for the town. Hopefully the site is mecca bingo which means the new theatre will be nearer to the train & bus stations.

Anonymous,  February 10, 2023 at 1:07 AM  

Most of us ,unless your still in school,will be passed it by time it's built,being waiting near on 30years for a cinema!

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