The Forge Island leisure development is being led by Morgan Sindall’s regeneration subsidiary Muse, which was selected by Rotherham Council last summer. The plans include a cinema, food & drink outlets and a hotel, built on the site of the 18th century Walker Brothers’ first iron foundry. A new footbridge will connect the development to the rest of the town centre.
A planning application from RiDO – the council’s development arm – was approved in December 2018 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.
Site investigation is being undertaken by Sirius Geotechnical ahead of the flood defence work being carried out.
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 contractor to be chosen in July.
Rotherham Council’s cabinet member for jobs and the local economy 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.”