RUFC - What a new stadium could mean for the town
Rotherham United`s new stadium could create four hundred new jobs in the town with up to two hundred of them being permanent.
On top of that, if the Millers reach their goal of getting into the Championship, it could mean that millions of pounds will be generated into the town.
A planning report says that If the club doesn`t get into the higher leagues the presence of the stadium would generate at least £3.75m expenditure over a ten-year period that town centre traders could benefit from.
The new ground is going to be built just a stones throw away from the town centre which should help bring the town back to life with both sets of fans using the facilities there both before and after a game, which of course, doesn`t happen at the moment with the team playing in Sheffield.
Rotherham Borough Council believes that the proposal would provide significant employment for the area and Councillors have been recommended to send the plans to the Secretary of State for formal approval and if this approval is forthcoming then permission will be granted.
The stadium is referred to as a 'community stadium` but, as the nature of these uses are not yet known they are not included within this application and will be subject to fresh planning application.
While Officials from the HM Court Services, on behalf of Rotherham Magistrates` Court, supported the proposal there are concerns about the proposed route the fans will use to and from Rotherham Railway Station, saying that the proposed route along the front of the towns` court and alongside the canal bank could be hazardous when Police emergency vehicles were leaving the Police Station. They say a route via Masbrough Street would be more suitable.
Councillor, Sheila Walker told Phil Turner of The Advertiser, that the Millers` move to Sheffield had ripped the half the heart out of the town and that she welcomed the new stadium project.
The Executive Director of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, Andrew Denniff said, 'Not only will the new stadium be a venue for Millers matches, on a wider scale it will offer employment opportunities, bring visitors into the town centre and be an important site for community use.`
While, Councillor Gerald Smith wanted to impose just one condition, which was getting past the first round of the FA Cup! (If Cllr Smith really wants this then I think we`re done for!)
After all the months of anticipation, at last, things are looking to move forward. I am sure moving back into Rotherham can only benefit the club and the community. And as Chairman, Tony Stewart says, 'It`s about a community stadium which will allow most people of Rotherham to participate in it. It`s about sport, it`s about the opportunity and the ambition.`
The new stadium is expected to be ready for the start of the 2012/13 season.
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