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Football club a step nearer goal of new stadium

posted 30 Apr 2010, 00:26 by RiDO Rotherham
Football’s coming home – to Rotherham.

Plans for Rotherham United FC to create a new community stadium took a major step forward this week, after the Borough Council’s Cabinet agreed officers’ recommendation that the council buy the land needed, at the Guest & Chrimes site, between the River Don and Centenary Way.

The stadium will stand next to the council’s own “New Civic” offices, now under construction at Guest & Chrimes, just outside the town centre.

Those, together with the recently announced deal with Anglo-Dutch developer TCN UK for the “old Civic”, other council properties and Forge Island, represent massive progress for Rotherham Renaissance, which is regenerating the town centre.

“It’s a good deal all round,” said the council’s strategic director of Environment & Development Services, Karl Battersby. “Good for the people of Rotherham, good for the club, and good for the future prosperity of the borough. Among other things, it could mean a lot more business for town-centre businesses.

“But most immediately it’s good for Millers’ fans – realising their dreams of bringing the club home. Having your home club on home ground – that’s important to a community.”

The plans would see the council buying the 10.85 acres (4.39 hectares) from Evans of Leeds, which has cleared and prepared the site for development. The council and Evans hope to conclude the deal around early May, when the official scrutiny period expires.

The club has said it will create an iconic stadium, with new design and new lighting technology, which will enhance the borough’s status. The officers’ report to Cabinet said the proposals would not just create a community stadium but provide:
- high-quality buildings, public spaces and the opportunity for further facilities to be provided within the site
- an enhanced vibrancy to the town centre
- opportunities for learning and local employment during the construction period
- community-based sports-learning
- improved pedestrian links

“We just want to get on now, together with the club and Evans, with the job of bringing Rotherham United back to Rotherham,” said Karl Battersby.

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