Wednesday, August 9, 2023

News: Final price for Rotherham markets revamp not yet known


Rotherham Council says that it is committed to delivering a delayed multimillion pound revamp of Rotherham Markets, despite a cost for the project that is still to be finalised.

A previous estimate of £31.7m puts it second only to Forge Island in terms of town centre investment. Construction is underway on the £47m new landmark destination which will feature a mix of independent eateries alongside boutique cinema operator, The Arc and national hotel chain, Travelodge.

This week Rotherham Council's cabinet approved a way forward so that work can get underway at the markets by its lead contractors, Henry Boot.

Enabling works are due to get underway next month to allow "project momentum to be maintained while final designs and costs are refined."

Appointed on a two stage proccess last year, Henry Boot is finalising designs for the redevelopment and to confirm development costs.

A cabinet report states: "Technical designs were completed in June 2023 and a tender exercise is now underway, being led by Henry Boot Construction accessing their extensive supply base, with support from the Council. This process is programmed to be completed in September 2023, allowing for the preparation and consideration of a final construction cost to deliver the Markets Redevelopment.

"The final elements of the redevelopment plans are currently being prepared, with a range of packages already out to market to allow for pricing and feedback from specialist subcontractors.

"The delivery programme for the redevelopment has been developed to ensure the construction works are sequenced in the most efficient and effective way, requiring a mobilisation on site in September 2023. In order to establish and agree the most competitive contract sum with the Main Contractor, pricing from subcontractors for various works packages is ongoing. This exercise needs to be as accurate as possible to avoid variations to the overall cost and length of programme, to ensure the best value for money is delivered.

"To facilitate this, it is proposed that an enabling works contract is prepared and agreed ahead of the main contract works, that allows project momentum to be maintained while final designs and costs are refined. The value of the enabling works contract will be taken off the final Contract Sum. This approach follows the same format as that implemented for the Forge Island development in the town centre."

Rothbiz reported last year that work on the markets and library development had been delayed as a funding gap of £9.8m was identified, largely due to the impact of inflation on the project delivery costs. The council gave the project a cost of £22m and Rothbiz revealed that, as the authority sought further funding via the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA), the project's total cost was given as £31.7m in March. However, Rotherham Council's own financial forecasts from July has the total cost at £30,280,745.

The final cost plan will be presented to cabinet (scheduled for November 2023) prior to full commencement of the main scheme.

Cllr. Chris Read, leader of Rotherham Council, said: "It is worth noting how big a scheme [the markets] is for the town centre. We've talked a lot about Forge Island, and rightly so, but in terms of a cost of a scheme, this is the next biggest investment in the town centre at the moment - in to tens of millions of pounds.It's money that we want to spend and are glad to see committed to the town centre.

"If we weren't in a position to make these investments then actually the future of the markets is pretty bleak. That building will not last forever. It's, what, 50 years old now? Something in that kind of order, so you can't continue to rely on buildings that have been there for that length of time.

"So, one, we want to keep it going and make sure that there is a thriving market in Rotherham and, two, we want it to be better, and improve it, and improve the experience for people coming into the town centre. And three, it allows us to relocate the library back to somewhere more like where it was always inteded to be in the first place."

Planning permission has been secured and 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.

Cllr. Read added: "It's a big deal and we want to see those works on site as soon as possible. Doubtless there will be other bumps in the road, other things will challenge us as we go through, but if you start to put together this, the Forge Island works, the public realm works, the housing that's going into the town centre, you can start to see a new town centre emerging."

Images: RMBC /


Anonymous,  August 10, 2023 at 10:13 AM  

Be interesting to watch this they can’t even manage paving going down!

Rothguy August 10, 2023 at 6:12 PM  

Whilst wanting markets to be a success the customer base is dwindling at the moment and many are not good for people who work full time,a later opening evening would be an improvement.

Jez August 10, 2023 at 9:46 PM  

The outdoor market on Tuesdays always seems to do well when the weather is decent. We need to see more themed events both inside and outside to attract.more people to the markets.

Anonymous,  August 11, 2023 at 7:38 AM  

The inclusion of the food hall with restaurants should improve footfall, particularly with the local student population

Jez August 11, 2023 at 10:43 AM  

As should footfall from residents of the new town centre housing

Anonymous,  August 12, 2023 at 8:33 AM  

Does anyone know why the Howard Street paving has taken over 6 months(and still not finished)

Anonymous,  August 13, 2023 at 7:36 PM  


Mark Webber,  August 15, 2023 at 3:43 PM  


Jez August 15, 2023 at 3:51 PM  

Dwellings provided for people?

Anonymous,  August 17, 2023 at 10:28 AM  

The riverside housing near New York Stadium looks really good and nice to see them occupied

Jez August 17, 2023 at 3:12 PM  

Yes, we need to exploit the riverside more

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