Without the flood alleviation scheme in Rotherham town centre, the new cinema and hotel developments would literally not get off the ground.
Work is now at an advanced stage on the flood defence, enabling and public realm improvements on Forge Island, where a leisure-led regeneration scheme is proposed under plans approved earlier this year.
A recent update to councillors shows that works include the installation of sheet metal piled flood defences along the west side of the site and a flood gate on the north (Bridge Street) side, forming part of the ongoing Rotherham Renaissance Flood alleviation Scheme (RRFAS), which will eventually run from Templeborough to Kilnhurst.
New 3.75 metre high retaining walls are set back from the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation Canal to allow maintenance of this historic feature, and this has created an opportunity to create very high-quality public open space, which will enable the public to enjoy this previously neglected section of the water course.
The canal footbridge adjacent to Rotherham Lock has been restored, new footpaths are being created in the form of re-used cobbles from the previous towpath.
The highlight of these works will be the construction of a terraced amphitheatre adjacent to Rotherham Lock (pictured) which as well as providing a seating area will also provide access to the upper deck of the wider leisure development that is being developed in partnership with Muse Developments. A piled basement car park is set to raise the development platform above flood water levels.
An additional scheme on the site has seen the introduction of a fish pass at Masbrough Weir and future elements include a flood barrier at the confluence of the River Don and canal at Browns Cut. Pell Frischmann engineering consultancy has been appointed to work on the Canal Barrier scheme.