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Corporation Street Empty Buildings get a new look Thanks to McDonalds and Gallery Town!

A row of unused buildings on Corporation Street in Rotherham Town Centre has been given a new look, thanks to a local partnership project.

Over recent years the buildings, including the Muskaan restaurant and Envy night club had fallen into disrepair, and so the decision was made to revamp one of the town centre’s key streets. 

The partnership between McDonalds Restaurants, Year 8 art students from Thrybergh Academy and Rotherham Borough Council’s Shop Local and Gallery Town projects, gave the students a “blank canvas” to work with along the full length of the buildings’ ground floors.

The students were given a brief to improve the look of the street and promote retail shopping in Rotherham Town Centre, especially the town’s ‘independent alternative’ offer.  They came up with images for a colourful row of shops including a retro clothes shop, a sweets/cake shop and a Florist.

Craig Buck of McDonalds said “We jumped at the chance to be part of this project and were happy to help tidy up these empty units, including getting our hands dirty and painting!  We even have a small version of the artwork inside our restaurant on Bridgegate, we liked it that much.”

Bernadette Rushton, Retail Investment Manager at Rotherham Borough Council added “Corporation Street is an important entry point into the town centre for shoppers and visitors alike. Much work has been done to the upper part of the street with the Minster Gardens and addition of new retailers, and the disused buildings are not up to the standard of the rest.

“It has been great to work with McDonalds and the Thrybergh Academy students, and we are very pleased with the results. Not only does it highlight the range of independent shops within the Town Centre but it is good to see the perspective from our younger Rotherham residents.”

Background

The pieces are included in the new art trail which has been produced to guide visitors around the town, pointing out the location and details of the art.  The trail is available from various locations including libraries, tourist information, retailers etc.,

The innovative Gallery Town project was officially launched in September 2011 and has built up to include over 100 large-scale reproductions of artwork from local artists, artists from further afield and local schoolchildren, complemented by famous masterpieces from the National Gallery.

The aim of Gallery Town is to help regenerate Rotherham town centre and increase the number of visitors.  The idea came from a group of local business people working alongside the local strategic partnership and town centre team looking at ways to regenerate and encourage more shoppers and visitors into Rotherham, in order to drive the local economy.