Plans to revive historic Rotherham High Street

Boarded up shops and for sale signs in the High Street, Rotherham
Boarded up shops and for sale signs in the High Street, Rotherham
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A SOUTH Yorkshire town’s retail revival continues with a further £3.5 million restoration of historic properties.

Work is under way or about to start, on four properties on Rotherham High Street, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Rotherham Council.

The project has provided grants to owners and long-term lease holders to restore, renovate and repair the historic buildings, within a conservation area.

The aim is to encourage new shops, apartments and businesses to locate in the town centre – visited by retail guru Mary Portas as part of her quest to find out how the High Street can be revived.

Scaffolding currently surrounds ‘Snafu’ at 22-30, High Street, where work is going on to restore the missing corner turret and special ornate features to the facade of the building as well as repairs to the roof and windows.

Interior work on the SNAFU bar – the former Muntus department store – is also taking place.

Further along High Street, plans are being progressed to restore features at 14a, the RSPCA shop, and convert upper floors into apartments.

A planning application has also been submitted for the restoration of numbers 10-12, where clothing store Caprice moved in over the summer.

The building was custom-designed for Boots the Chemist in the 50s and the ‘modern’ coloured glass panels will be reinstated.

Work is also set to begin on the art-deco Essoldo Chambers, which will include restoring the faded façade to bring back the building’s true colour.

The upper floors will be converted into apartments.

Rotherham Council’s cabinet member for town centres Coun Gerald Smith said: “Rotherham is blessed with historic buildings that have medieval history as well as examples of Georgian, Victorian, art-deco and fifties architecture.

“These are character buildings that deserve to be restored and which cannot be found in shopping malls and retail parks.”