This is how a run-down island in the heart of Rotherham could look once it is transformed into a bustling leisure quarter.
Forge Island would get a cinema, hotel and restaurants, along with public space and a new footbridge linking it with the rest of the town centre, under the latest proposals.
Rotherham Council today announced it has chosen Muse Developments as its preferred partner for the major regeneration project.
It says work on the main island and part of the riverside precinct, which is the first phase of the scheme, is expected to begin in October 2019 and be completed within two years.
That will incorporate the central section of the two-and-a-half acre site containing the cinema, hotel and restaurants.
Further talks are now set to take place between the council and the developer, with contracts due to be signed shortly.
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A planning application will be submitted and is set to be considered at the council’s cabinet and commissioners’ decision making meeting later this year.
Councillor Denise Lelliott, Rotherham Council’s cabinet member for jobs and the local economy, said: “We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the developer selection process and the very high quality proposals we received which reflect the confidence investors have in the future direction and potential of Forge Island to become a quality development which will achieve lasting benefits for the local community."
Forge Island was home to the old Tesco supermarket and is across the banks from the former magistrates’ court, both of which were bought by the council.
Muse Developments’ other projects include Wakefield’s Merchant Gate development, City Place in Chester, Liverpool’s St. Paul’s Square and Marischal Square in Aberdeen.
Dan Needham, Development Director at Muse Developments, said: “We’re delighted to be given the opportunity to work with Rotherham Council on the first phase of their ambitious regeneration of the town centre.
“This is an exciting proposal for the regeneration of Forge Island, as we look to work collaboratively to create a vibrant new leisure quarter for Rotherham town centre, with a cinema, restaurants, hotel and car parking set in stunning new public areas the community can enjoy.
“The Forge Island programme will also maximise the benefits of the waterside location and extend the town’s cultural offer.”