THIS is how High Street will look once a £3 million project to develop the old Primark site is complete.
Rotherham Council has bought the former retail unit, which has remained empty since the clothing store jumped over to Parkgate Shopping in late 2017.
Plans for 30 flats on the land were announced earlier this year — and the Advertiser revealed in September that RMBC wanted to create a pocket park in the meantime.
And demolition work could begin early next year, the council says, subject to planning approval as the location is within a conservation area.
Clearing the site would widen the access to Snail Hill, leading up towards the Crofts and Rotherham Town Hall. The pocket park is called Snail Yard on an artist’s impression released by the council (above).
Cllr Denise Lelliott, RMBC cabinet member for jobs and the local economy, said: “These are exciting and significant developments that will complement the work we are already undertaking to transform Rotherham town centre.
“The short-term plan, creating a pocket park, will help to create a more attractive area on the High Street and add to the leisure offer that is being developed to encourage families to socialise in attractive and diverse surroundings.
“Town centres across the country are having to adapt as their traditional uses start to change. “We’re looking at what Rotherham town centre needs to thrive and that means thinking differently and looking at how people will live in and use the town centre in years to come.
“Long-term residential plans for the site will contribute to the changes that we are delivering through the town centre masterplan including three new housing developments and the leisure scheme at Forge Island.”
RMBC bought the site using funding from the Government’s Town’s Fund accelerator programme, which encourages projects where demolition or site remediation will have an immediate benefit.
Footfall dropped 40 per cent on High Street in the months after Primark closed, council figures later showed.