Markets and Library Redevelopment
Ambitious regeneration and improvement plans are currently under development in a new era for Rotherham market.
The redevelopment and re-purposing of the markets complex will include a relocated central library, new community hub, extensive public realm and improved links to the town centre and college.
The buildings along Eastwood Lane are currently being demolished in preparation for introducing attractive landscaping connecting the college area to the market.
The major refurbishment at the site will create a new look that appeals to young and old visitors alike. Redevelopment will also build upon the existing mix of shops and services by adding a new dining area to the first floor of the Indoor Market. This will provide a vibrant link from the Indoor Market to the Outdoor Market and a change to the current opening hours, which are to extend into the evening.
On the second floor of the Indoor Market, the existing arcade units will be refurbished to create office space for charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups, such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
The redevelopment of the market’s complex and the new town centre library are key projects in the regeneration of our town centre.
More than fifty years since the opening of the Centenary Market, this redevelopment will house our great local traders in an environment fit for the 21st century, helping to bring good quality, affordable produce to the next generations of shoppers.”
The investment we’re making will bring impressive improvement and an enjoyable space in which people will be able to shop and relax.
When complete, visitors to the markets will notice striking changes to the look of the indoor site, as well as a cosier feel, thanks to an improved design.
Rotherham Council secured funding from the Government’s Future High Street Fund to finance the improvements and demolish what’s officially known as the Centenary Market, which opened in 1971.
The Outdoor Market will be used predominantly as a market, but it will also be used as exhibition and event space, when needed. The markets will be ‘stitched’ to the town centre fabric by a new terraced public space that will open the market frontage to Eastwood Lane and Drummond Street.
A new Library will occupy the corner between Henry Street and Drummond Street and will include a café, meeting rooms, flexible gallery space, and a maker’s space.
Investment in the markets is part of the Council Masterplan to transform the heart of the town.
Rotherham has a long history and association with markets since the 13th Century. As a result, the market has played an important role in the development of the town and helped forge its current identity and character.
In June 1801 an Act of Parliament enabled the town to enlarge the marketplace and improve and erect proper slaughterhouses. The Old Shambles marketplace was swept away and replaced with a new single storey stone Shambles. It consisted of 28 shops around the exterior and 20 stalls around the interior courtyard, for Butchers and Fishmongers.
In 1905 the Shambles was demolished to widen the High Street. The Imperial Buildings now stand on the site of the Shambles. In 1879 the council purchased the land around the marketplace on Corporation Street and erected an iron and glass market hall. This market hall served the town until it was destroyed by fire in January 1888.
In 1889 a new brick market hall opened on the same site. Rotherham also held a cattle market at the Crofts and by 1851 was selling around 3,000 sheep and 200 cattle each week. A new cattle market was opened on Corporation Street in 1926, when the Crofts site was chosen for the development of a new courthouse.