Wednesday, January 17, 2024

News: Free parking for film fans at Forge Island


Rotherham Council has confirmed that film fans are set to have another reason to chose to stay local to watch future features - free parking at Forge Island.

Rothbiz first reported on the parking plans back in 2020 and the new Arc Cinema on the £47m development in Rotherham town centre is slated to open in 2024.

The scheme is being lead by national urban regenerator, Muse Developments, partnering with the council. It will also include a new Travelodge hotel and six food and drink outlets, which are already fully let.

A 340 space car park, to be operated by the council, is being created on the main site with the new buildings on a podium above taking them higher than the 1 in 100 flood risk level. Entry to the car park is to continue from Bridge Street and Market Street as it does currently.

When discussing the progress at Forge Island at a recent council meeting, Cllr. Denise Lelliott, Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, confirmed that users of the hotel and the cinema would be able to park for free.

Cllr. Lelliott said: "The strategy for parking at Forge Island offers free parking for hotel customers between the hours of 4pm and 10am. In addition, those customers using the cinema will be offered concessionary free parking for a period of up to 3.5 hours.

"Outside of these concessions car park users will be expected to pay, and while yet to be agreed, the tariffs are expected to be at least in line with the Council’s current core town centre car park tariff."

Council car parks currently charge in the region of £1.50 up to two hours, £2 up to four hours, £3.50 over four hours.

Rotherham Council bought the Forge Island site in 2017 for £1.5m. Previously a Tesco store, it has since been used as a council car park, a temporary bus station, and COVID-19 testing centre.

Cllr. Lelliott added: "Forge Island was a car park, and previous to that it was a supermarket. We have been working and looking at a parking strategy - we have got to make it work for the hoteliers and the cinema operators that have come in. We don't want parking fees to be something that prevents people from coming and using this."

Last year, Rothbiz highlighted what to expect when the Arc Cinema opens in Rotherham. It is set to have two flagship Hypersense screens and six medium-sized screens.

Forge Island website

Images: Muse / RMBC


Anonymous,  January 17, 2024 at 1:24 PM  

At long last! Some actual common sense from RMBC.

It appears the penny has finally dropped that the cost of parking in Rotherham places every town centre business at a massive disadvantage, especially when compared with locations like Parkgate and Meadowhell.

It would be great to see these provisions extended across all Council parking sites to incentivise visitors back to the town centre.

This is definitely a step in the right direction, and a partial acknowledgement that those abhorrent cycle lanes will do nothing to encourage visitors into the town centre.

Anonymous,  January 17, 2024 at 1:41 PM  

Not many town centres have free parking,I work all over country and rarely if ever come across it.

Anonymous,  January 17, 2024 at 1:54 PM  

Have you actually read the article? They'll still have to pay between 10am and 4pm.

Anonymous,  January 17, 2024 at 4:12 PM  

Posting cr ap without reading the article is par for the course on here.

Jez January 17, 2024 at 4:21 PM  

Not if they are going to the cinema, where they will get 3 and a half hours free parking. Sounds like a good deal to me.

Rothguy January 17, 2024 at 8:27 PM  

This seems like in right direction I would extend this to outlets on forge island and have a validated parking system like in America where if you spend you get your parking cheap or free.

Jez January 18, 2024 at 7:05 AM  

That is a very good idea.

Anonymous,  January 18, 2024 at 8:00 AM  

Like they tried at Tesco and never got it to work

Anonymous,  January 18, 2024 at 8:02 AM  

It was needed but after a film that’s one hour and a half gone sometimes two hour and half depending, doesn’t leave much time for the restaurants of forge island and I’m led to believe this is only a Arc decision not a council or development decision.

Rothguy January 18, 2024 at 1:57 PM  

If implemented correctly it can and does work.

Anonymous,  January 18, 2024 at 4:39 PM  

Depends on when you plan on going, as most council parking is free after 6pm, and off-street car parks don't charge at weekend. If they give cinema users 3.5hrs free, then at worse case you may need to pay for £1.5 for 2hrs extra, or £2 for 4hrs (if you are a slow eater). Now try and do the same in Sheffield or Leeds city centres.

Anonymous,  January 18, 2024 at 8:04 PM  

But can people park for free down the road at the Centertainment or whatever its called?

Anonymous,  January 18, 2024 at 9:18 PM  

And Meadowhall.

Anonymous,  January 19, 2024 at 1:24 PM  

Still need some new bars/restaurants in town centre in general to compliment the forge island development,maybe then Rotherham can become the good evening out it was back in the 80s when people came from other towns for night out.Oh and less poor quality takeaways dishing up same crap!

Anonymous,  January 19, 2024 at 3:56 PM  

We seem to be pinning Hope on Forge Island fetching people back.....the problem I'd guess is the rest of town is still not worth coming back for, so people will use it then go home which is of no use to the current pubs and bars.

Anonymous,  January 20, 2024 at 6:28 AM  

My work colleagues in Derbyshire are quite happy to tell me this cinema chain are really good. I hope so, it'll make a big difference to Rotherham whether you like the town centre or not.

Anonymous,  January 29, 2024 at 9:00 AM  

There aren't any Arc cinemas in Derbyshire?

Jez January 29, 2024 at 6:21 PM  

But his work colleagues may not live in Derbyshire. There is an Arc just over the border in Nottinghamshire

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