Cllr Read at Gullivers Valley, one of the sites set to benefit with a new skills centre
Cllr Read at Gullivers Valley, one of the sites set to benefit with a new skills centre

Councillors have been successful in securing almost £40million from the government’s so-called “Levelling Up Fund” to help improve Leisure Economy and Skills in the borough and Rotherham Town Centre.

Rotherham Council Leader, Councillor Chris Read, said: “We very much welcome the news in the budget that two of the three Levelling Up Fund bids from Rotherham Council are to be supported by the government, supporting our agenda to build a better borough.

“This will provide much needed funding for developments in and around the town centre, at Rother Valley Country Park, a new Skills Village at Gullivers Valley Theme Park, Maltby Academy and Wentworth Woodhouse.”

The Leisure Economy and Skills bid for £19,990,000 aims to build a new Leisure industry that responds to the challenges of economic recovery and health and well-being. It includes funding for improved stables at Wentworth Woodhouse, a new café at Thrybergh Country Park, new exhibitions at Magna and a new Village Centre at Rother Valley Country Park.

The Skills package will underpin the development of these four major attractions through the creation of a new Skills Village at Gullivers Resort focusing on training, development, and accreditation within the hospitality and leisure sector. Bridging the gap between school and employment, Maltby Academy Trust will invest in the redevelopment of the former Maltby Grammar School to create an incubator space for training, apprenticeships, and start up support in the leisure and hospitality sectors.

£19,549,059 bid for Rotherham Town Centre aims to continue the regeneration of Rotherham Town Centre focussing on two key areas, the Riverside Residential Quarter and the Leisure and Culture Quarter. This investment will complement and add value to the investment from the Future High Street Fund and Towns Fund.

The two successful bids are expected to help create more than 100 local jobs.

A third bid, intended to help regenerate the village centres in Dinnington and Wath was not supported by the Conservative government.

Cllr Read added: “Despite it’s name, this fund falls a long way short of what is required to really ‘level up’ our part of the world. Sadly the government has chosen to create these one-off pots of money, allocated on the basis of an unclear competitive process, rather than giving us the sustainable funding that we need. But the Labour council will always try to bring in the investment we need, and we will be looking again at what we might be able to do in order to change the government’s mind about the Wath and Dinnington bid.”

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