Tuesday, July 25, 2023

News: Another empty retail unit next on Rotherham Council's shopping list


Rotherham Council is set to acquire another empty retail unit in Rotherham town centre that has been vacated by a national retailer.

And the large vacant retail unit, that was formerly home to Boots, looks to have a new use, at least temporarily.

A year after Boots walked away from Effingham Street as part of a 2020 acceleration of it Transformation Plan, new planning documents show that a new occupier has a proposal to bring it back into use.

Henry Boot Construction is gearing up to begin work on the long-awaited, multimillion pound revamp of Rotherham markets and new library having bagged the tender from Rotherham Council for the £31.7m project.

The Sheffield-based firm, which worked on the new markets and library and the wider Glass Works scheme in Barnsley town centre, has now submitted its Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) for approval by Rotherham planners.

The document shows how the contractor intends to take on the former Boots building nearby to use as its main site office from September 2023.

With 25,985 sq ft of floorspace over three floors, Henry Boot Construction is set to convert the retail space into offices, canteen areas and kitchenettes. In the yard to the rear on Henry Street, temporary cabins and toilets will be in place as the fit out works take place.

Rotherham Council used delegated powers to enable it to complete the necessary transactions to acquire property at 42 – 46 Effingham Street.

The council report said: "Rotherham Council is embarking on its most significant regeneration opportunity following the securing of major public sector investment. The impact of this programme will bring benefits across the entire Borough and the community of Rotherham.

"The town centre is currently home to a number of vacant, abandoned and derelict buildings and acquisition and public sector control of privately owned properties is a route to deliver on the Town Centre Masterplan ambitions."

A price for the property has not been disclosed but Rothbiz believes that it is in the region of £770,000. It follows on from the council's cabinet approving the proposed use of the £1m Strategic Acquisitions Fund in April.

To aid regeneration, Rotherham Council has previously acquired the empty Wilko's unit on Corporation Street in 2022 and the former Primark unit on High Street in 2020.

Boots is listed as "under offer" with agents, Brassington Rowan who advertised it as an "outstanding retail / leisure / development opportunity." The building was previously sold in 2020, before it was due to go to auction with a guide price of £1.1m.

When Henry Boot move onto the site, the proposed works to the indoor markets include a new layout and timber effect ceiling whilst the outdoor market's canopy roof is set to be replaced. A new dining area with commercial units is a new addition, along with much improved public realm. A new library will include a cafĂ©, meeting rooms, flexible gallery space, and a maker’s space.

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

As for the former Boots building, "long term redevelopment is anticipated as part of the continuing redevelopment of the town centre," the council says.

Images: Brassington Rowan


Anonymous,  July 25, 2023 at 12:50 PM  

It'll get set on fire and then around 2040 it'll become a 'public realm'

Anonymous,  July 25, 2023 at 1:05 PM  

"long term redevelopment is anticipated as part of the continuing redevelopment of the town centre," the council says.

I think that's RMBC speak for "will be knocked down and turned into flats".

I wonder where RMBC is getting all this money from?

Anonymous,  July 25, 2023 at 6:39 PM  

Another grassy area for local dredged of society,both home grown and imported to contaminate,more than likely,it's RMBC favourite development!

Believe in Rotherham. July 25, 2023 at 11:30 PM  

Great news.
Proves to the naysayers that the market regeneration will happen.
New markets one end of town and forge island the other.
You naysayers will be laughing on the other side of your faces when this comes off.

Jez July 26, 2023 at 12:01 AM  

So I'm guessing you didn't vote Remain?

Jez July 26, 2023 at 3:08 PM  

Naysayers never laugh, never smile. never say sorry. never explain.

Anonymous,  July 26, 2023 at 4:20 PM  

What's Brexit got to do with it? Rotherham as always had more than it's fair share of lowlifes,and the ones coming over channel on dingys have nothing to do do with Brexit .So not really a valid question re the subject.

Anonymous,  July 26, 2023 at 4:36 PM  

Never say never

Anonymous,  July 26, 2023 at 4:40 PM  

Sounds like a very sensible use of the site to me. Why oh why does a piece of good economic news for the town have to generate comments about low lifes and asylum seekers?

Jez July 26, 2023 at 5:46 PM  

Sorry, but the fear of dinghies coming over the Channel and Boris' promise to stop them had everything to do with Brexit and why people voted for it.

Anonymous,  July 27, 2023 at 10:19 AM  

And how's that working out, it now worse than ever! A certain generation voted for Brexit for nostalgic reasons rather the the economic future of their grandchildren

Jez July 27, 2023 at 1:20 PM  

Not only their grandchildren. Brexit has been an unmitigated disaster, completely without benefits other than psychological ones for Little Englanders and xenophobes

Rothguy August 3, 2023 at 9:02 PM  

And what a waste of money when are we going to see the 31 million back.

If markets want to thrive they need to change with times.

As someone who works full time only time I can go is limited hours on a Saturday, so most of time I want to use markets but end up using supermarkets.

They need to offer more.

Anonymous,  September 2, 2023 at 7:54 PM  

As the rest of Rotherham plans from the past not many have been actioned. The 25 year plan was a waste of time. Too little too late for Rotherham. They need to get some councillors that will bring the town into the 21st century

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