Henry Boot the right fit for Rotherham markets redevelopment

Henry Boot the right fit for Rotherham markets redevelopment

A long-awaited multi-million dollar revamp of the Rotherham markets appears to be a few steps closer as further funding has been found and a contractor is close to being officially appointed.

A revised total cost of £31.7m has now been given for the delayed programme, down from previous estimates of £22m.

Rothbiz reported last month how plans for the Rotherham markets and central library program were approved.

The proposed works will create a modern, efficient facility that reflects its primary purpose of serving as a place for small business owners to do business and connect with customers, while also incorporating flexible space elements that easily adapt to temporary and changing uses adjust.

Rotherham Council has completed a tendering process and intends to appoint Henry Boot Construction for the project.

The Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment is due to approve the deal by January 15, with the council’s website stating: “A decision to award the first phase of the two-stage design and build contract to Henry Boot Construction Ltd for the development and supply of Redevelopment proposals up for grabs for Rotherham Markets. The decision follows the result of a tender that has been carried out.”

In September, Rothbiz announced that markets’ redevelopment had been delayed as the council attempted to fill a large funding gap. Rotherham Council secured funding from the Government’s Future High Street Fund to partially fund the improvements, but the project had a projected funding gap of £9.8m following a cost estimate update.


Funding has been found from various sources including £5m from the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) ‘Gainshare’ fund. Some of that money was checked by the relevant authority last week.

A grant of £3m from the SYMCA has been requested “to address a shortage resulting from inflation and cost increases in the supply chain”.

Papers show the £3m funding requested would be a reallocation of funds previously earmarked for the acquisition of the Rotherham bus hub.

The financing of the project is divided into:
– Market Hall refurbishment – £6,148,377
– Outdoor market refurbishment – £6,537,573
– Demolition work – £1,633,589
– Works in the public sector – £5,622,275
– Library Works – £6,095,763
– Design and development costs – £5,643,668

The refurbished indoor market will receive a new configuration for the stalls, replacing the grid pattern to incorporate a main “wish line” to connect the updated entrance to the market place with connections to other floors.

The roof is repaired with American yellow poplar louvered panels that change the look inside. The new outdoor market hall, which is also getting a new roof, is to be used primarily as a market, but occasionally also for exhibitions and events.

Between the indoor and outdoor market, three bays of the existing market wing are to be demolished and replaced by a double-height dining area. A seating area is surrounded by six food vendor units and a communal kitchen.

New entrances and a significant new public area are also planned.

In addition to the library’s main functions, other aspects of the new library include a small coffee shop, meeting and conference rooms, flexible gallery spaces, a business library, free WiFi and computer access, and makerspace facilities for use by schools and the public.

Tim O’Connell, head of RiDO, Rotherham Council’s regeneration arm, told councilors earlier this week: “The markets and library are probably the closest ‘big’ individual project to Forge Island in terms of size. It’s a project that will introduce a number of key factors to Rotherham, so in addition to improvements to the indoor and outdoor covered markets – the layout, the way they work and some necessary investment in infrastructure and services in a very old building, built in the 1970’s – also there is a new food hub, the library will be moved from its current location to the Centenary Market complex, generating additional traffic adjacent to the market to allow the two things to work together new community hub, additional investments in public areas and improved connections to the university and the city center.

“We have just appointed a contractor in a two step process to move this forward. That is confirmed. It is a contractor with experience working in markets and we are delighted with the appointment we have made. You know about working in that environment and with those kinds of problems.

“A big challenge for us will be managing the construction as it is on the same site. A number of retailers are already on site – how can we accommodate them? How do we ensure that they can trade as successfully as possible while this work and disruption brings the benefits that we will see over the longer term?

“The deadlines for the markets are closed by mid-2025. From the contractor appointment there is six more months of design work… and then it is a 24 month construction period.”

Sheffield-based Henry Boot is currently carrying out refurbishment work at the Heart of the City project in Sheffield city centre. It also worked on the new markets and library and the wider Glass Works program in Barnsley town centre.

Rotherham Markets website
Henry Boot website

Images: Greig & Stephenson/RMBC

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