A new leisure quarter for Rotherham town centre is on the cards after councillors agreed to buy a former supermarket site.
Rotherham Council has been given the green light to buy Forge Island from Tesco and prepare it for investment with a mix of residential units and leisure developments proposed.
Cabinet member for jobs and the local economy Denise Lelliott said the agreement made this week was a key decision for the town centre, with several developers already showing an interest in the island site.
She said: “Forge Island is a major feature in the town centre regeneration. Private investment flows into a town centre where there is development certainty and where projects can be seen to be viable. We are confident that this development will act as a catalyst to other development in the area and will help to regenerate surrounding areas.”
The 4.2-acre site sits between the River Don and the South Yorkshire Navigation Canal and was originally named after the Walker brothers leased the site for their water-powered forge.
The site became vacant in November 2014 when Tesco relocated to a new store on Drummond Street and is currently in temporary use as a car park operated by the council.
Rotherham Council now hopes to agree a purchase with Tesco in November, with demolition to start in December.
Plans for the site were considered earlier this year with residents saying they wanted a ‘thriving and welcoming town centre’ with ‘plenty to do day and night’. The town centre has attracted around £200m of investment over the last seven years.