Rotherham is booming

Rotherham council leader Coun Chris Read
Rotherham council leader Coun Chris Read

Rotherham has the fastest growing-city economy in Yorkshire and the eighth fastest city in the UK, according to a new report.

The borough experienced 1.8 per cent growth in its economy in the third quarter of 2017 according to research by Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

Dorrien Peters, partner and head of business legal services at the Sheffield office of Irwin Mitchell

Dorrien Peters, partner and head of business legal services at the Sheffield office of Irwin Mitchell

The report says Rotherham, the home of the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, has built on its historical manufacturing sector specialising in heavy steel, and now plays a key role in making bespoke products for the aerospace, nuclear and transport industries, driven by research and development.

The location and success of the AMRC in attracting investment from the likes of Boeing and McLaren makes a significant difference to the assessment of Rotherham’s performance against its peers.

The figures come just over a month after council leader Chris Read said Rotherham was experiencing its best period in business for 15 years.

Dorrien Peters, partner and head of business legal services at the Sheffield office of Irwin Mitchell, said: “Our latest Powerhouse Report shows 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.”

In November, Coun Read said the Advanced Manufacturing Park was booming even before McLaren’s under-construction chassis factory sparked stellar interest.

Waverley, the housing site next door, has plans for hundreds more homes and a £50m ‘village centre’, while in the town centre, University Centre Rotherham is under construction, a new bus station starts early this year and there are plans for a £150m ‘Forge Island’ shopping and leisure scheme.