Sunday, October 1, 2023

News: Government grants £20m "endowment" for Rotherham regeneration


Rotherham has been selected by the government as one of 55 towns to be given £20m endowment-style funds each over ten years to invest in local people’s priorities.

The Prime Minister said that he is putting local people in control of more than £1 billion with a long-term plan for left-behind towns that have been overlooked and taken for granted.

With dwindling council budgets and European funding allocations, areas have been forced to bid for funding from various government pots. Rotherham has had success. In March it was announced that Rotherham will receive £20m for regeneration in The Budget for Wath and Dinnington.

In 2021, Rotherham secured £31.6m from the Town Deal to revamp areas of Rotherham town centre as well as Templeborough and Eastwood, and £12.6m from the Future High Streets Fund. In the same year, two of the three bids from Rotherham were successful in securing money from the Government's Levelling Up Fund - £19.5m for the town centre and £19.9m for a number of connected projects which aim to build a new leisure industry.

Now Rotherham has been given the opportunity to develop a long-term plan supported by a Towns Board (A private-sector chaired Rotherham Town Deal Board is already established to oversee regeneration progress and a place-based investment strategy was published earlier this year).

It means that, local people, not Whitehall-based politicians, will be put in charge, and given the tools to change their town’s long-term future.

Rotherham is set to receive a ten-year £20m endowment-style fund to be spent on local people’s priorities, like regenerating local high streets and town centres or securing public safety.

The Town Board will bring together community leaders, employers, local authorities, and the local MP, to deliver the Long-Term Plan for their town and put it to local people for consultation.

The plan will set out Rotherham’s vision and priorities for investment and regeneration, aligned to themes of safety and security, high streets, heritage and regeneration, and transport and connectivity.

The cash will be used alongside a suite of regeneration powers to unlock more private sector investment by auctioning empty high street shops, reforming licensing rules on shops and restaurants, and supporting more housing in town centres.

Town Boards will have direct government support in addition to the funding and powers they receive through the government's new "Long-Term Plan for Towns," and will be required to engage local people on their long-term plan.

Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said: "Towns are the place most of us call home and where most of us go to work. But politicians have always taken towns for granted and focused on cities.

"The result is the half-empty high streets, run-down shopping centres and anti-social behaviour that undermine many towns’ prosperity and hold back people’s opportunity – and without a new approach, these problems will only get worse.

"That changes today. Our Long-Term Plan for Towns puts funding in the hands of local people themselves to invest in line with their priorities, over the long-term. That is how we level up.

"On the occasions over the years when governments have tried to help towns, the story has always been the same. Short-term funding pots, often put in the control of councils that are already failing, with little or no consultation with the people that really matter – local people. It’s time to invest directly in the places that need it most, not politicians that squander the most."

Levelling Up Secretary, Michael Gove said: "We know that in our towns the values of hard work and solidarity, common sense and common purpose, endeavour and quiet patriotism have endured across generations. But for too long, too many of our great British towns have been overlooked and undervalued.

"We are putting this right through our Long-Term Plan for Towns backed by over £1 billion of levelling up funding.

"This will empower communities in every part of the UK to take back control of their future, taking long term decisions in the interests of local people. It will mean more jobs, more opportunities and a brighter future for our towns and the people who live and work in them."

Funding is set to be used to improve transport and connections to make travel easier for residents and increase visitor numbers in centres, tackle crime and anti social behaviour, and enhance town centres to make high streets more attractive and accessible, including repurposing empty shops for new housing, creating more green spaces, cleaning up streets or running market days.

Once a town board is in place, some "capacity funding" will be released in Spring 2024 so that long term plans can be drawn up and submitted from summer 2024 and draw down funding for the first year.

The government is establishing a "Towns Taskforce" that will help Town Boards to develop their Town Plans, and advise them on how best to take advantage of government policies, unlock private and philanthropic investment and engage their communities.

Images: RMBC / Jackson Civil Engineering


Anonymous,  October 1, 2023 at 9:32 PM  

I think we can safely assume that a General Election is not a million miles away

Anonymous,  October 2, 2023 at 12:01 AM  

That's a bit cynical. Maybe the government has given us and similar towns the money because they genuinely believe in levelling up.

Anonymous,  October 2, 2023 at 7:50 AM  

I agree. Rishi is just a working class fella at heart.

Anonymous,  October 2, 2023 at 8:25 AM  

Sarcasm is not an admirable quality. Are you Jez incognito?

Anonymous,  October 2, 2023 at 11:08 AM  

You can bet your bottom dollar that if local business owners had any say in the Council's plans, cycle lanes would be a fairly low priority.

Personally, I think this is a step in the right direction, but of course it will all depend on who they involve in the consultations.

Anonymous,  October 2, 2023 at 12:07 PM  

I'm intrigued to see just how laughably the council will manage to waste the money

Anonymous,  October 2, 2023 at 12:19 PM  

Wait until 'cant make is mind up Starmar and the obnoxious creature Raynor 'are in power😩😩

Anonymous,  October 2, 2023 at 12:59 PM  

As the manager of a business selling cycles, I disagree. The more cycle lanes the better. In fact let's spend the whole 20 million on cycle lanes and repairing potholes

Believe in Rotherham. October 2, 2023 at 1:01 PM  

Wonder what the Rother Valley Conservative MP and he's hanger on Conservative councilers think of this,they hate the town.
Do not support the regeneration in any way whatsoever.

Anonymous,  October 2, 2023 at 1:01 PM  

I've heard there are plans to refurbish the Pecks building on Fitzwilliam Road, which has been unoccupied for 50 years.

Believe in Rotherham. October 2, 2023 at 1:04 PM  

The council have had 200 million pound taken away from them since this Conservative government took power.
If it wasn't for this labour council no regeneration at all would be taking place.
The opposition councilers between then be they lib Dems or conservatives do not support Forge island or the markets getting done,but don't let facts get in the way.

Anonymous,  October 2, 2023 at 4:07 PM  

Well said that man!

Anonymous,  October 2, 2023 at 4:17 PM  

While I agree about the amount of money taken away from the council by the Tories it's also fair to say that the biggest amount of deterioration of Rotherham town centre came during the 13 years of Labour government, it was already pretty much beyond repair by the time the Tories got in. There isn't much difference in the town between now and 2010. There was a LOT of a difference between 2010 and 1997. Both parties deserve blame. When it comes to the regeneration, the phrase 'after the horse has bolted' comes to mind.

Anonymous,  October 2, 2023 at 4:36 PM  

He thinks what Soon hacked thinks. And when the Nasty Party elects a new leader he'll think what they think. Hopefully he will be out of work before too long.

Anonymous,  October 2, 2023 at 5:51 PM  

Better late than never

Believe in Rotherham. October 2, 2023 at 10:14 PM  

I wouldn't say "the horse has bolted"
The markets are getting regeneration and Forge island is getting built.
Most town centres in the country need regeneration.
Big retail is finished in town centres not just in Rotherham.
Town Centres need to change and we the regeneration in Rotherham coming over the next few years we are changing.
Then for it to work the people of the town and borough need to support it.

Anonymous,  October 3, 2023 at 9:26 AM  

True about better late than never.

But also, prevention is better than cure

Anonymous October 3, 2023 at 9:43 AM  

Weren't endowments generally miss-sold during the 80s and 90s? Maybe this will be the same and we'll end up with a bag monopoly money worth nowt!

Anonymous,  October 3, 2023 at 5:11 PM  

A stitch in time...

Anonymous,  October 4, 2023 at 6:42 AM  

Fair comment. At the end of the day we get the kind of town and town centre we deserve. Too many people, including, strangely, some people who are interested in reading this message board, have given up on the town and continuously knock it. I was born and bred in Rotherham and to remember when the town centre was a thriving, bustling, exciting place to be makes me nostalgic and sad. But those days for most town centres are gone forever. Unless they can adapt to new realities they will die. Rotherham is trying,, admittedly a bit later than it should have, to reimagine itself. I will never give up on the town and whenever I can I try to spend some money in the centre. There are some great little independent shops and eateries who have had enough faith in the town to invest in businessesand they deserve support. Use it or lose it has never been a trurer summary of the situation in town. I for one will continue to use it and look forward with optimism to regularly enjoying the facilities on Forge Island and elsewhere.

Anonymous,  October 4, 2023 at 4:31 PM  

Given the Tories record on empty promises, we'll be lucky to get 20 thousand.

Anonymous,  October 4, 2023 at 11:47 PM  

Not an honest politician among them

Anonymous,  October 7, 2023 at 6:45 AM  

Isn't "honest politician" an oxymoron?

Anonymous,  October 7, 2023 at 12:44 PM  

Let's see how they squander £20m. £4.5m for Wentworth Woodhouse stables project. £5.5m for Rother valley country park, £2.5m for Thrybergh country park....all council projects. The people of Rotherham will not benefit until Labour goes.

Anonymous,  October 7, 2023 at 12:45 PM  

Maybe they'll build another mosque. Rotherham has fallen.

Anonymous,  October 7, 2023 at 12:48 PM  

Rotherham is the most unhappy place to live in England according to a survey by Rightmove, Rotherham Advertiser 2022. I agree,council have ruined it, just visit the town centre.

Anonymous,  October 7, 2023 at 12:51 PM  

I prefer to shop in Doncaster or Barnsley.

Anonymous,  October 7, 2023 at 12:58 PM  

When they bring in ULEZ, nobody will be visiting Rotherham town centre. There's no reason to now.

Anonymous,  October 9, 2023 at 11:22 PM  

Wentworth Woodhouse is not a council project. It is owned and administered by a Preservation Trust. And the people of Rotherham benefit from being able to visit beautiful country parks. Those that aren't heathens that is.

Anonymous,  October 9, 2023 at 11:23 PM  

You are a racist and not a particularly bright specimen of that cohort.

Anonymous,  October 9, 2023 at 11:26 PM  

Please feel free to live somewhere else

Anonymous,  October 9, 2023 at 11:27 PM  

I think Rotherham people are pretty unhappy with the Advertiser tbh.

Anonymous,  October 9, 2023 at 11:27 PM  

Of course you do.

Anonymous,  October 9, 2023 at 11:29 PM  

I doubt anyone visiting the town centre gives a flying foot about ULEZ.

Anonymous,  October 10, 2023 at 5:35 PM  

Bit harsh that

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