Rotherham Council’s Town Centre Masterplan is forging ahead as site investigation works begin on the Forge Island flood defence scheme
The flood defence scheme is an essential part of the Forge Island leisure development, which will see a multi-screen cinema, hotel, restaurants and bars built on the site of the famous 18th century Walker Brothers’ first iron foundry.
A planning application from RiDO – Rotherham Council’s development arm – was approved in December to extend flood defence works to Forge Island, to link with upstream defences around Riverside constructed as a response to flooding in 2007.
The cinema development will be built on a podium to lift the area out of the flood plain, with a stepped amphitheatre beside Rotherham Lock. A wall will be added along the route of the old court buildings with extensive public realm improvements comprising hard and soft landscaping, resurfaced footways and a stepped amphitheatre beside Rotherham Lock. Floodgates will also be added at Bridge Street and Main Street.
The current works will see site investigations undertaken by Sirius Geotechnical ahead of the flood resilience work being carried out.
Rotherham council’s cabinet member for jobs and the local economy, councillor Denise Lelliott, said: “Rotherham is Yorkshire’s fastest growing economy and we know residents are keen to see the town centre developed to befit a town of this status.
“Forge Island will act as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of the rest of the town centre, and the burgeoning population of students, residents and workers, retaining this market into the evenings and weekends.”
The site investigation works are expected to take around eight weeks. The flood defence wall and adjoining public realm are currently out to tender, with a partner to be chosen in July.