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Works to start on major town centre redevelopment scheme

posted 16 Mar 2018, 08:14 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 16 Mar 2018, 08:15 ]

Work is due to start next month on a long-awaited redevelopment project which further boosts Rotherham’s continued regeneration.

The £10m revamp of Westgate Chambers, designed by Sheffield-based Self Architects, will see the creation of a showcase commercial, retail and residential development in the heart of the town centre.

Located on an island site between Main Street, Westgate, Domine Lane and Market Street, the project involves renovating six buildings that surround a landscaped internal courtyard, including a superb Georgian Grade II listed building, one of the oldest surviving historic structures in Rotherham town centre.

The scheme, by Peter Hill of developers HMP Bespoke Construction Ltd, will provide high quality retail, leisure and commercial space at street level with 29 contemporary apartments over three floors.

Dilapidated buildings on Domine Lane will be demolished and a new contemporary building will feature 7,000 sq ft of retail and commercial ground floor space with a further 32, one, two and three-bedroomed apartments above.

Project Architect Simon Lunn, from Self Architects, said: "We were pleased to have secured planning approval on behalf of our client and are delighted to be part of the team on such an exciting courtyard development in the heart of Rotherham town centre.”

The listed Georgian building, known as the Co-op building, was originally a fine residence built in 1794 by the architect John Platt. The proposals, approved by Rotherham Council, include reinstating the Georgian façade and renewing the shopfronts in a style complimentary to the building and in keeping with the heritage-led development of Rotherham High Street.

Peter Hill said: "Works will start around the beginning of April on what will be around a three-year build programme.

“These are exciting times ahead for all concerned with this prestigious scheme and we look forward to it moving forward with the additional regeneration of Rotherham town centre, bringing in new restaurants, entertainment and leisure facilities to help new residents to live, work, rest and play and most importantly creating new town centre jobs."

Rotherham Council’s Town Centre Masterplan details how major development will take place in the town centre including a major leisure destination at Forge Island with a cinema, hotel, and eateries, a new University Centre, and a large increase in the residential offer.

Harworth Secures New AMP Tenants

posted 16 Mar 2018, 08:03 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 16 Mar 2018, 08:16 ]

Harworth Group plc has secured new long-term lettings at the Rotherham based Advanced Manufacturing Park.

Two new tenants have been secured for the second phase of “R-evolution” units at the Advanced Manufacturing Park which completed in 2017, meaning this scheme is now fully let. The 25,962 sq. ft Unit 8 building has been let to Spendor Audio Systems Limited on a 15-year lease, whilst the 15,063 sq. ft Unit 7A has been let to British Steel Limited on a 15-year lease. These lettings have achieved a new headline rent of £7.50 psf for the park. Knight Frank and Gent Visick acted as joint agents for both lettings.

This strong demand for space at the AMP has now led Harworth to begin construction of its third phase of “R-evolution” at the AMP, comprising 55,750 sq. ft of additional commercial space to be built to institutional specifications for advanced manufacturing occupiers. The scheme is due to practically complete in September 2018, with JF Finnegan Limited acting as Harworth’s principal building contractor.      
Ian Ball, Executive Director of Income Generation at Harworth, commented: 
“I’m delighted that we have let all of our remaining vacant units at the AMP and Gateway 36 to three successful & growing companies on long-term leases. These lettings justify why we speculatively developed this space over the past eighteen months whilst also emphasising the market’s continued confidence in our product.”  

David Travis, Director of Business Space at Harworth, added: 
“With our second phase of “R-evolution” at the AMP now fully let, increasingly strong demand from advanced manufacturing occupiers and other supply chain businesses for readily available commercial space at the AMP means that it is an ideal time for us to commence our third speculative phase of “R-evolution”. I am confident that we’ll be able to secure further occupiers of the same ilk as Spendor and British Steel in advance of practical completion being achieved later in 2018, thereby supporting the future success of the AMP and the Advanced Manufacturing sector in the North of England.”  

Free Business Roadshows Announced To Support Skills & Innovation Growth

posted 28 Feb 2018, 06:57 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 28 Feb 2018, 06:58 ]

Sheffield Hallam University is holding a series of Open for Business Roadshow events across the South Yorkshire region to help businesses understand the range of support on offer to help transform the way they work.

Businesses are invited to sign up to attend the free events to find out about the opportunities on offer in diverse areas of business, including higher and degree apprenticeships, placements, knowledge transfer partnerships, and access to the University's expertise and facilities through the Sheffield Innovation Programme.

The events are being hosted by the University alongside local enterprise partners, including Rotherham Investment & Development Office (RiDO) and University Centre Rotherham (Part of RNN Group).

They will take place between February and April, with an event to be held in Rotherham on Wednesday 14 March at New York Stadium.

Conor Moss, Director of Education and Employer Partnerships at Sheffield Hallam, said: “We want to be a university for the broader region with an applied approach to creating knowledge, innovations and solutions that impact on people's lives and being a beacon for what a university can do for and with its community.

“We work particularly closely with the Local Enterprise Partnership to identify hard-to-fill job areas, aiming to increase graduate employment in small and medium-sized enterprises in the Sheffield City Region.

“As well as supporting businesses to access to our talented graduates, we want to work within those companies and help with their own people development through the newly developed degree apprenticeships funded by the apprenticeship levy.

“These roadshows aim to show businesses we don't yet work with the range of opportunities on offer to them to develop their talent and transform the way they do business and I'd encourage businesses of all sizes to come along and find out more."

Click here to visit the University's website to sign up to the free events.

US delegation visits AMID

posted 28 Feb 2018, 04:58 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 28 Feb 2018, 04:59 ]

The world-leading reputation of the Sheffield City Region for advanced manufacturing brought a high-level delegation from the US Congress to the region to see for itself last week.

Ron Kind, US Representative for Wisconsin’s 3rd congressional district, is an expert on small businesses, while Derek Kilmer, US Representative for Washington’s 6th congressional district, has worked in economic development for over a decade. Both were keen to see the work of the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and to learn how it became so successful.

America continues to be an important export market for the City Region, and most recent figures show that in 2015 the region exported manufactured goods worth £450million there. The US has also has been the largest investor in projects in the SCR between 2006-16, accounting for roughly 25% of the investment coming to the region.

US investors include Amazon’s third fulfilment centre in Doncaster; the expansion at Premdor UK Holdings’s factory in Barnsley by Masonite International; Euramax International’s expansion at its Barnsley site; and increased steel wire production at the Leggett and Platt plant in Grimethorpe, Barnsley. 

The Congressmen were accompanied by Mr Kilmer’s Chief of Staff, and Mr Kind’s Legislative Director. Also on the visit, arranged by the Department for International Trade, were Grant Kerr, Senior Congressional Advisor at the British Embassy in Washington, and Meghan Ormerod, the Senior Trade Policy Advisor at the Embassy.

The visit was accompanied by Mark Robson, DIT Regional Director Yorkshire; Cllr Denise Lelliott, Cabinet Member and Paul Woodcock, Assistant Director for Planning, Regeneration and Transport for Rotherham Council; and David Campbell-Molloy, Senior Programme Manager, and Tony Corby, Senior Business Development Manager, from Sheffield City Region

The group saw the advanced manufacturing technologies on display and talked to senior people at the Rolls-Royce Factory of the Future.

Mr Kilmer said: “I have been very intrigued by what I’ve seen. The way in which University experts have collaborated with businesses is impressive. I will be taking a lot of lessons learned back to my community.”

Mr Kind added: “This has been an outstanding visit. It has given me many useful ideas. I too am bowled over by the co-operation between business and the University that I’ve seen, and the partnership with your local councils and Sheffield City Region.”

The sky’s the limit for new homes in Rotherham

posted 28 Feb 2018, 04:48 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 28 Feb 2018, 04:48 ]

Work on an innovative housing scheme, set to attract first time buyers, will begin next month at a key regeneration site in Rotherham.

The ‘Sky-House’ project, which received planning permission from Rotherham Council late last year, will begin next month on the Waverley site next to the Advanced Manufacturing Park. 

The project is the brainchild of architect CODA Studios, who have reinvented the Victorian back-to-back terraced home for modern day living. The development will include 40 two-bedroom Sky-Houses and four, four-bedroom family homes creating a landmark urban starter development. 

The design incorporates expansive glazing to offer homes that are bright, airy and spacious with unrivalled views from every level. They will also include roof terraces opening up to the sky. 

Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Dominic Beck, said: “This is another exciting development on the already popular Waverley site in Rotherham. 

"We know there is a clear need for more housing in the borough, particularly for first time buyers. The Sky-House project will create an innovative housing solution, attracting more people to live and spend their leisure time in Rotherham."

Councillor Beck added, “It’s not just young professionals who want to live in easy reach of amenities and great transport links, we also know there is a huge demand for these types of properties from larger families, as well as older people looking to downsize.”

The Waverley development already includes 700 homes with another 3890 planned over the next 15 years. The site will also have a new primary school; only the second one to be built in the borough in the last 25 years.

The addition of this primary school will not only form part of the Council’s duty to ensure there are enough school places in the area, but also be an opportunity to create a school, with the newest facilities, in close proximity to the world class manufacturing facility at the Advanced Manufacturing Park.

Adam Murray, CODA Planning, said: “ ‘Sky-House’ aims to create sensitively compact communities with the ‘back-to-back’ design which will be centred around a pocket park and a series of open spaces, including an all-weather play space to ensure ball games are strictly encouraged.

“Our design compliments the other Waverley developments whilst offering something very unique for Rotherham residents; houses that will herald one of the most unique new build developments in the region creating unrivalled starter homes.”

It is anticipated that the first of the Sky-House project homes will be available by December 2018 with the whole development finished by summer 2019. The project will also create around 60 construction jobs. 

Rotherham’s Growth Plan includes a target of 14,000 new homes for the borough by 2030.

Building work to start on temporary Bus Interchange

posted 19 Feb 2018, 02:04 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 19 Feb 2018, 02:04 ]

Construction of a temporary bus interchange at Forge Island is due to start today in preparation for a £12m upgrade and refurbishment of Rotherham Interchange by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE).

After a competitive tendering process, West Yorkshire-based QSP Construction Group has been appointed to build the temporary facility, which will accommodate most of the services that normally use the interchange. Additional temporary stops will also be added to Corporation Street.

The refurbishment works on Interchange itself - which will include improved lighting, glazing, seating and Passenger Information Displays (PIDs), plus new floors and a CCTV system - are due to start in the spring, with work taking around 12 months to complete.

Changes in the car park include new surfacing, bigger spaces for modern cars, designated walking routes and new cladding. Whilst the works take place, the car park and bus interchange will be closed although the café, shops in the Mall (College Walk) and customer toilets will remain open throughout.

Tim Taylor, Director of Customer Services at SYPTE, said: “Rotherham Forge Island – as the temporary site will be known – will provide 12 bus stands with lighting, seating and a covered waiting area for passengers along with timetables at each stand, a PID, CCTV and a staffed customer service desk.

“Opening a temporary facility at Forge Island will minimize customer disruption while essential maintenance work, fire damage repairs and refurbishment works take place on the interchange and car park above.”

SYPTE is engaging with community groups in Rotherham to inform them about the temporary interchange and the main refurbishment plans and to help them with the transition. 

A wider public information campaign due to start in the coming weeks will include drop-in events for customers, information panels at the interchange, posters and leaflets on buses, as well as messages on social media. 

The temporary facility and the refurbishment of Rotherham Interchange form part of the Town Centre Masterplan, led by Rotherham Council.

Sheffield City Region’s views sought on Strategic Transport Plan

posted 12 Feb 2018, 02:31 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 12 Feb 2018, 02:32 ]

Transport for the North (TfN) has begun a 13-week consultation on its Strategic Transport Plan for the North, and is inviting people’s views at an event being held in Sheffield this week.  

Senior TfN representatives will be visiting Sheffield as part of a dedicated session to outline the plan’s recommendations, advise on what this could mean for Sheffield and the wider City Region and invite questions and feedback that people may have.  

Martin McKervey, a partner at international law firm CMS, is the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Board lead member for Transport, and a member of Transport for the North Partnership Board.

He said: “Sheffield City Region has worked closely with Transport for the North in the development of this important Plan and we are very supportive of its aims and ambitions with regard to the strategic role of transport in enabling the realisation of the Northern Powerhouse.”

Mr McKervey added: “Transport for the North is working to make it easier for people and goods to travel across the region, improving access to jobs, supporting businesses and improving the movement of freight and goods across the North and to ports and airports.

“We are very clear in our ambition to deliver a fully integrated multi-modal transport network, with high frequency and low travel times to major norther cities and to London. We want this to work for everyone so we can maximise the opportunities this will present to further grow the economy of this great city region.’’

Barry White, CEO, Transport for the North said: “An incredible amount of work has gone into the production of the draft Strategic Transport Plan including collaboration between the public and private sector across the whole of the North.  

“The plan is underpinned with a robust evidence base making a compelling case for the investment priorities that would transform the economy of the North and the UK as a whole. I’m delighted that we’re now in a position to share this work with the public and invite their questions and comments. This is crucial to ensuring the plan is fit for purpose and meets the needs and aspirations of those who will benefit from improved infrastructure and economic prosperity, the citizens of the North. 

“This is first time transport in the North has been looked at on a pan-northern level offering a unique opportunity for everyone to have their say on what matters to them in their areas.  I’d encourage people to attend the event.”

The drop-in consultation event is open to everyone and is an opportunity for members of the public to formally submit their feedback on the plan which will be analysed and fed into the final Strategic Transport Plan before its release later in the year. 

Event schedule:
4pm – 5pm: Presentation from Transport for the North representative and Q+A
5pm – 6pm: Drop-in Q+A
6pm – 7pm: Presentation from Transport for the North representative and Q+A

The event will be held at Sheffield City Hall between 4pm – 7pm on February 14 February. 

The thirty-year plan, which was released in draft on Tuesday 16 January, is the first of its kind and outlines how transport connections across the North of England need to be transformed by 2050 to drive growth and close the economic gap between the North and the rest of England.

Transport for the North’s public consultation runs until 17 April 2018 with similar engagement events taking place across the North. A final version of the plan will be published later in the year and submitted to the Government for ministerial consideration. 

Find out more by visiting  

Origin Broadband invest £2.5 million in move to Manvers

posted 26 Jan 2018, 01:05 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 26 Jan 2018, 01:06 ]

Award winning network operator, Origin Broadband, is excited to announce a £2.5 million investment in its new premises at Callflex Business Park, Rotherham. The move has come as part of a wider growth strategy for Origin Broadband, as the company continues to compete with the top five players in the UK telecommunications market. 

Since its launch in 2011, Origin has developed its own infrastructure and now hosts the sixth largest broadband network in the UK. Future growth forecasts suggest Origin will continue to grow its customer-base, reaching 257,000 customers by 2020.  

Origins’ staff base will flourish too. This time last year Origin employed 54 people, however, in the last 12 months employee numbers have now tripled, exceeding growth targets set in May last year. The move to the new building provides an even bigger opportunity for employment growth, with 53,665 sq. ft. it has the capacity to seat up to 700 people across all three floors.

Oliver Bryssau, CEO of Origin said; “We are really excited about Origins’ Head Office moving to Manvers. Doncaster has been a fantastic home for us, but our two current sites are no longer big enough to accommodate our future growth plans. Having both our Residential and Business divisions under one roof will help us share best practice across the whole of Origin.

Trips have been put on for colleagues to visit the new building and everyone has been impressed with its size and the opportunity it provides for future growth.” 

Origins’ new premise benefits from a robust transport network, including links to the M1 and A1(M), as well as integrated rail and bus routes from Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster and Sheffield. 98% of Origins’ employees have confirmed they will be moving to the new site, but the company will be offering CV workshops to those who will have to look for work elsewhere. 

Oliver continued; “We want to make the move as easy as possible for our colleagues. Exciting announcements have been made about contract changes; including shorter working hours and increased holiday allowances, with salaries remaining the same. 

The next phase for Origin is to continue our work on enhancing the customer experience. We set out to offer a better standard of broadband service nationwide and we will continue to do just this. Our values still remain the same, we will still offer industry leading prices and outstanding value for money, without ever outsourcing any of our operations overseas.”

Rotherham leading the way as Yorkshire’s fastest growing economy

posted 15 Jan 2018, 02:33 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 15 Jan 2018, 02:33 ]

Rotherham Council leaders have welcomed a new report which reveals Rotherham is the fastest growing-city economy in Yorkshire, and the eighth fastest growing economy in the UK.

The UK Powerhouse study by Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) provides an estimate of growth and job creation within 45 of the UK’s largest cities.

The report shows that Rotherham had a growth of 1.8% across October to December 2017. The only economies ahead of Rotherham were Cambridge (2.2%), Aberdeen (2%), Derby, Milton Keynes, Ipswich, and Oxford (all 1.9%).

The report goes on to state that Rotherham has built on its historical manufacturing sector specialising in heavy steel, and now plays a key role in the manufacturer of bespoke products for the aerospace, nuclear and transportation industries, driven by research and development in technologies.

The location and success of the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation District – which sits on the Rotherham/Sheffield border – and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing and Research Centre was significant in attracting investment from the likes of Boeing and McLaren, making a significant difference to the assessment of Rotherham’s performance against its peers.

Dorrien Peters, partner and Head of Business Legal Services at the Sheffield office of Irwin Mitchell, said: “Our latest Powerhouse Report shows that Rotherham’s impressive growth is a huge testament to the vision of our universities, together with Rotherham and Sheffield, to build a world class Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District. It is a decision that is supported by the hard economic data that shows the worth of manufacturing and education to the wider Sheffield City Region.”

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy Cllr Denise Lelliott added: “Rotherham’s ambition is to create the right conditions for growth and regeneration and these results give confidence to businesses looking to invest in jobs, homes and developments within Rotherham. We look forward to creating an economy in which there are more growing and innovative businesses, where more local people are in work, both highly skilled and entrepreneurial, and where the transport, digital and environmental infrastructure, along with the housing offer and quality of place, support economic growth.”

New UCR roof "topped off" as build reaches one step closer to completion

posted 15 Jan 2018, 01:40 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 15 Jan 2018, 01:41 ]

A topping-out ceremony was held last week to celebrate a huge milestone in the construction of the brand new University Centre Rotherham.

Willmott Dixon are just months away from completing the build of the £10.5million brand new campus, which will expand the range of degrees and higher level training available in Rotherham.

John Connolly, Chief Executive for the RNN Group, the organisation behind University Centre Rotherham and Rotherham College, welcomed Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and other representatives from partner organisations including Sheffield City Region and Rotherham Together Partnership, to mark the completion of the highest point of the building.

A representative from Lloyds Bank also attended the event, an organisation that has both supported and partly-funded the project.

John Connolly, said of the build: “It’s fantastic to see our new University Centre Rotherham really starting to take shape and beginning to take its place on the Rotherham skyline.”

“Over the coming months, people will hear much more about the courses and brilliant facilities, and we’ll be working closely with more employers to get them involved so training meets their needs for highly-skilled staff.”

Behind the scenes at the RNN Group, the organisation is working collaboratively with the university partners which accredit their degrees and with regional employers to develop courses that are sought after within the local economy.

The centre is a key part of the Rotherham 2025 strategy to regenerate the town to make better place to live, work, invest in and visit.

Andrew Denniff, Chief Executive of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce said:

"The culmination of this project will bring what many businesses in Rotherham have been hoping for a long time - a university campus in our own town and in a central location. The number one priority for a majority of businesses is getting staff with the right skill set and developing our own 'home grown talent' will prove a major step forward. This also ties in with the Rotherham Together Partnership ‘game changer’ of increasing skills and employment in the borough".

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, Councillor Denise Lelliott, said she was excited to see work on the Centre progressing:

“University Centre Rotherham will be a great asset to the borough," she said. "As Rotherham looks forward to a future with more growing and innovative businesses, the UCR will help to develop a home-grown future workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge.”

Nigel Brewster, Vice Chair of the Sheffield City Region (SCR) Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The University Centre will help to attract, retain and develop skills in the region which are so important for the SCR’s sustainable growth. It will be a major asset to Rotherham and the employers and workforce of the region - the ‘let’s get it done’ work-ethic in Sheffield City Region harnesses drive and ambition.”

Richard Stowell, Operations Manager for Willmott Dixon said, “UCR has made fantastic progress since the start in September 2017; in the space of a few months we have completed the groundwork, erected the steel, cast the floors and started the perimeter cladding.

“The roof topping out marks a significant milestone in the project calendar as we begin to commence internal trades, and is another milestone in our work to achieve completion later this year, so that UCR can welcome its first students this autumn.”

University Centre Rotherham is due to welcome students from autumn 2018, offering a huge range of degrees, foundation degrees, higher national certificates and diplomas, and other professional training in areas such as business enterprise, graphic design, performance, engineering, education, computing, media and photography and much more.

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