Thursday, April 27, 2023

News: Demolition begins on former Wilkos site in Rotherham town centre


Demolition work on the former Wilkos building on Corporation Street is under way as the regeneration of Rotherham town centre continues.

As reported by Rothbiz, the Council acquired the building at 4 Corporation Street in January 2023 to prevent it from becoming a long-term empty building, after high street household, DIY and homewares chain, Wilkos, closed the store after 127 years in the town centre.

The authority said that the site will be utilised to enhance the Town Centre Masterplan, and over the next 18 months will be part of the Forge Island site compound.

A planning application for demolition showed that the site was earmarked as the potential location for a new theatre.

The 20,423 sq ft property was vacated by the value general merchandise retailer at the start of 2022. It sits alongside the former Riverside Precinct and Chantry Buildings - again acquired and demolished by the council as part of regerenation works - and the former Mecca Bingo, another authority acquisition "that will contribute to the further regeneration of the Leisure & Cultural Quarter."

A new theatre is included in a new place-based investment strategy outlined by the council and has been given an investment figure of c.£28m.

Bowmer & Kirkland has been appointed to do the demolition work as they are the main contrator on the Forge Island scheme.

Heavy plant machinery is currently in operation on the back of the building and will continue to demolish the rest of the structure in sections over the next six weeks.

After being removed, the materials will be recycled and reused in other projects across the UK.

Prior to the demolition starting, the building was stripped inside to ensure that all asbestos was removed.

Cllr Denise Lelliott, Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Business and Economy said: “With the crane now towering over the ongoing works on Forge Island and more town centre homes becoming occupied, we’re making progress on our plans to regenerate Rotherham town centre. The closure of Wilko’s after such a long time was clearly a loss but sadly this is a pattern seen in other town centres across the country. So rather than leave the building empty we want to use the space to help facilitate the wider Forge Island development over the coming months.”

Images: RMBC


Anonymous,  April 27, 2023 at 1:58 PM  

If it had been set on fire first then it would still have been there in 20 years time.

Anonymous,  April 27, 2023 at 4:23 PM  

Making progress? Wellgate is shut making it practically impossible to get into Rotherham.

- The High Street stinks with the whiff of cannabis farms.
- The rest of the town stinks, thanks to the incinerators burning rubbish
- The number of beggars and anti-social behaviour is on the rise
- RMBC have turned Corporation into a something that wouldn't look out of place in a dystopian end of the world film
- The town is not a nice place to be at any time of day or night.

And we should be happy because there's a crane on Forge Island?

Get real. This project is 20 years too late and even now they still can't get it right.

Anonymous,  April 27, 2023 at 5:12 PM  

Can’t disagree with any of that, Forge island whilst welcome won’t suddenly change the town centre’s fortunes overnight! I do hope though when it’s completed the council aren’t giving themselves a collective pat on the back!!

Anonymous,  April 27, 2023 at 6:08 PM  

Don't forget the council advertise free parking then slap you with a fine if you don't pay and display. Why do you need a ticket to park for free.
I think they're trying to run the centre of Rotherham down so they can turn it into more unaffordable housing

Anonymous,  April 27, 2023 at 9:57 PM  

Dirty old town, comes to mind.

Anonymous,  April 28, 2023 at 7:03 AM  

Nobody's perfect

Anonymous,  April 28, 2023 at 7:05 AM  

You seem to have an extremely sensitive sense of smell. Where are theseincinerators burning rubbish?

Anonymous,  April 28, 2023 at 8:27 AM  

The new builds on Westgate also stink of cannabis.
Who have we moved in.

Anonymous,  April 28, 2023 at 10:37 AM  

Are you the guy who walks around town sniffing in bins?

Anonymous,  April 28, 2023 at 12:29 PM  

And how come you know so much about cannabis?

Anonymous,  April 28, 2023 at 5:04 PM  

Can't see what your problem is. It clearly stated that you need a ticket even if you go in a free parking zone. This is because it is time limited. All you need to do was read the notice and follow simple instruction. Not the Council's fault if you can't do that.

Anonymous,  April 28, 2023 at 7:35 PM  

I’m also interested in the incinerator comment, where is this happening ?

Anonymous,  April 28, 2023 at 9:36 PM  

In the windmills of his mind. Been smelling too much weed..

Anonymous,  April 29, 2023 at 12:44 PM  

. To be fair to our friend with the sensitive proboscis I can remember quite a lot of incineration in town in the past 20 years or so. Club Envy, Tealby's Cafe, Pele Bonito, Rhino's, Masons Arms and the County Borough spring to mind.

Anonymous,  April 30, 2023 at 12:25 AM  

No smoke without fire as they say.

Anonymous,  May 2, 2023 at 7:16 AM  

English Heritage are considering a move to list Club Envy as a site of outstanding historical interest because it has now become Europe's oldest burnt out shell. When asked to comment, a representative of RMBC Planning Department said that they were unaware of any fire damage on Corporation Street but would look into it as a matter of urgency.

Anonymous,  May 2, 2023 at 4:16 PM  

The representative of the Planning Department went on to say that if he could have his time over again he would have chosen a balloon or magic colouring book.

Anonymous,  May 3, 2023 at 4:26 PM  

The earlier contributor must have had a more upmarket rag man than we had when I was a child growing up in Ferham. Ours only offered balloons, magic colouring books or degrees in metallurgy.

Anonymous,  May 3, 2023 at 8:55 PM  

I was brought up in Ferham as well. Most people on our street were so poor that the ragman used to bring old clothes round to us.

Anonymous,  May 4, 2023 at 7:57 AM  

It is offensive to suggest that metallurgy degrees were distributed by rag and bone men. I studied night and day for three weeks to get mine.

Anonymous,  May 4, 2023 at 9:29 AM  

You must have been in my year at Spurley

Anonymous,  May 4, 2023 at 10:31 AM  

That's right. We were always bottom two in science.

Anonymous,  May 4, 2023 at 12:46 PM  

I knew your O Level in Religious Studies would come in handy.

Anonymous,  May 5, 2023 at 2:11 AM  

I was born into a family of six in a two up two down in Josephine Road and really loved it. Unfortunately we had to move somewhere smaller

Anonymous,  May 5, 2023 at 8:16 AM  

The comments about living in Ferham brought memories flooding back about my childhood. I was born in Cavendish Road and lived there until I was 9. We moved out in the middle of the night. Dad said that was the only time a removal van was available.

Anonymous,  May 5, 2023 at 8:32 AM  

My grandad ran a chimney sweep business from Devonshire Street many years ago. He used to take me with him in his 3 wheeler van until I became too big to climb chimneys

Anonymous,  May 5, 2023 at 10:29 AM  

I too am a native born Ferham lad and attended Ferham Junior and Infants School. Lovely memories for me too - all of the lads with purple painted scalps to combat impetigo and regular home visits from the nit nurse. Can anyone else remember throwing orange peel at the usherettes during matinées at the Premier or nicking Toffees from the corner shop in Ferham Road?

Anonymous,  May 5, 2023 at 10:36 AM  

I was born on Wellgate so didn't know a right lot about Ferham. I had an auntie lived in Hartington Road but my mam wouldn't let me visit because she said people in Ferham weren't right in the head and she didn't want me catching anything. I always thought she was being unreasonable until I had cause to go there many years later. Thank you Mam.

Anonymous,  May 5, 2023 at 1:21 PM  

As a youngster in Ferham, I spent many happy hours on race nights peering over the wall of the greyhound stadium in Psalters Lane. When I was a little older I spent many happy hours with one of the kennel maids.

Anonymous,  May 5, 2023 at 1:45 PM  

Did a lot of my courting in the Premier and the Tivoli. Only caught fleas once as I remember. It was said that the curtains were so infested that they opened and closed themselves.

Anonymous,  May 5, 2023 at 3:33 PM  

As a former in house cleansing operative at both those cinemas I find your remarks deeply hurtful. I can say with absolute authority that there were very, very few fleas at either venue. Most of them were eaten by the cockroaches.

Anonymous,  May 5, 2023 at 3:38 PM  

That is correct The purple stuff was gentian violet and was widely used before antibiotics to treat impetigo. Impetigo is a horrible disease. Those kids who had it at our school looked as though someone had stuck cornflakes all over their heads.

Anonymous,  May 5, 2023 at 5:53 PM  

It was one of the saddest days of my life when the Tivoli was finally demolished after lying empty and neglected for years.It held a very special place in my heart from the moment that my Mother told me I had been conceived at the cinema during a performance of "Some Like It Hot".

Anonymous,  May 6, 2023 at 6:53 AM  

Despite it's out of town location in Masborough, the Tivoli was one of the most attractive cinemas in Rotherham. It was beautifully decorated and, as indicated by the previous post, was extremely popular with courting couples.

Anonymous,  May 6, 2023 at 9:03 AM  

I was really interested in the comments of the person conceived in the Tivoli cinema. I think it should inspire a thread entitled "where I was conceived and it's place in my heart". I will kick it off by revealing my lifelong love of rail travel, awakened in part I am sure by the fact that I was conceived at the back of the shunting yard outside Masborough Station.

Anonymous,  May 6, 2023 at 10:44 AM  

My great great Welsh grandfather (Dai Lolly) was the first ever male Usherette at the Tivoli Cinema. So as not to embarrass the other usherettes (or so he said) he always wore a dress at work. Some years later and despite having a bright red bushy beard he won the Miss Llandudno competition back in the land of his father's.

Anonymous,  May 6, 2023 at 12:23 PM  

It was not only the Premier and Tivoli that.were popular with young couples. All the cinemas in Rotherham were popular venues for young couples wanting a couple of hours privacy. Particularly popular were Thore with double "courting seats" at the back like Robbie's in Rawmarsh and those owned by J Arthur Rank.

Anonymous,  May 6, 2023 at 6:10 PM  

Having worked in Llandudno for many years I can well understand your grandfather winning the town's beauty contest. There are more female facial epilation salons in Llandudno then anywhere else in Europe.

Anonymous,  May 6, 2023 at 6:26 PM  

Not sure if it necessarily fits the bill but there was a young lady in my son's class called Bottlebank.

Anonymous,  May 7, 2023 at 1:17 PM  

Back to the town centre and the council's efforts to transform it into a place of leisure services and entertainment. Just a suggestion, but I feel we could do with a few more Turkish Barbers

Anonymous,  May 7, 2023 at 2:21 PM  

Agreed, and some vape shops, nail bars, tanning salons and more places where they transform female lips into duck bills. That would be good. Although vaping with duck lips can't be easy.

Anonymous,  May 8, 2023 at 12:50 AM  

There are some real duck lip disasters walking round town. That's what happens when you buy dermal filler from B&Q.

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