Tuesday, March 7, 2023

News: Funding found for Rotherham markets redevelopment


A funding gap is being filled for the long-awaited, multimillion pound revamp of Rotherham markets.

Rothbiz reported last year on how plans for the Rotherham markets and central library scheme were approved but the development had been delayed as the authority carried out a review of funding options.

The delayed scheme was been given a revised total cost of £31.7m, up from previous estimates of £22m, largely due to the impact of inflation on the project delivery costs.

Rotherham Council secured funding from the Government’s Future High Street Fund to part finance the improvements but forecast a funding gap of £9.8m following an update of the cost plan.

£5m was identified from the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority's (SYMCA's) "Gainshare" funding pot. The council is also proposing to move an allocation of libraries relocation budget of £2.9m that was earmarked for the central library relocation, and a redirected operational building budget of £1.8m, utilising the elements of the budget earmarked for central library and markets capital maintenance.

This week the SYMCA board met to discuss a £3.4m grant for the project which is progressing to the contract award stage.

The combined authority's Housing and Infrastructure Board has already approved the use of £3m - a reassignment of funding previously earmarked for acquisition of Rotherham bus interchange.

The latest approval shows that the money is initially to be funded from Rotherham’s allocation of the Gainshare delivery-ready capital resource but there may be an opportunity to switch this scheme into other funding into the future.

Board papers explain: "The project will deliver enhancements to the Rotherham markets providing a modern and efficient facility. Developments will include elements of flexible space, suitable for easy adaptation to host temporary and changing uses, whilst also reflecting the primary purpose of the facility in providing a place for small business owners to trade and engage with customers.

"The proposed development will safeguard the sustainability of the markets, ensuring they remain as the beating heart of the town centre of Rotherham, acting as a key hub for the local community. Providing space to shop, meet and relax, for both local residents and visitors.

The project is expected to deilver 70 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs safeguarded, ten FTE jobs created, 30 temporary full-time jobs supported during implementation and reduced crime rates and anti-social behaviour in the town centre by 5%.

South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard said: "“When I was elected last May, I promised to renew South Yorkshire, and make our region healthier, more prosperous and more sustainable.

“We want our communities to be able to thrive and these projects and schemes will make a real, tangible difference to our future."

Henry Boot has recently been appointed as contractor for the project by Rotherham Council.

The project also include plans for a £9m library which would also include a small cafĂ©, 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.

The project timetable for delivery is due to take approximately three years. Construction is due to finish in December 2025.

Images: RMBC


Anonymous,  March 8, 2023 at 9:11 AM  

Construction is due to finish in December 2025? So that means that construction won't start until 2026 at the earliest.

Anonymous,  March 8, 2023 at 10:53 AM  

Lol! The cynic in me tends to agree with you.

It would be nice to see one of these town centre projects finished before the council starts rubblising another part of Rotherham.

Anonymous,  March 8, 2023 at 4:32 PM  

It is to be renamed "bi-centenary market"

Anonymous,  March 10, 2023 at 10:40 AM  

The surest way of ensuring that the council do not demolish buildings is to set fire to them. They will then be preserved for years as burnt out shells

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