Plans to create more than 1 million square metres of new employment space, 20,000 new jobs and 12,000 new homes in Rochdale over the next decade have been unveiled, as the borough's economic transformation continues apace.
More than £95 million of external funding has already been secured to drive forward the plans outlined, which include:
- The allocation of land to bring forward 12,000 new homes, including 2,000 around the borough's town centres and the delivery of 1,500 high-quality family homes in new communities at North Middleton and South Heywood.
- The continued redevelopment of the borough's town centres, including the restoration of Rochdale's Grade I listed town hall, extensive public realm improvements and the creation of masterplans for Heywood, Middleton and Littleborough.
- The completion of the Junction 19 link road to create new employment sites and homes at South Heywood, including the development of an advanced manufacturing park with links to universities, colleges and schools.
- Major transport improvements including the construction of a new railway station at Slattocks between Castleton and Mills Hill on the Calder Valley line. Plans also include the implementation of a tram–train service connecting Heywood with Castleton and Rochdale.
- Investment in social infrastructure to support growth to include new secondary schools in Middleton and Littleborough and primary schools in Heywood, Castleton and Littleborough.
Millions of pounds have already seen secured to drive forward the plans, including more than £23 million for the junction 19 link road. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has also committed £4 million to help progress Rochdale Riverside phase 2, which will see the creation of around 200 new apartments, as well as a hotel, next to the recently opened shopping and leisure development, Rochdale Riverside, in the heart of Rochdale town centre.
Almost £30 million of government funding has been committed for major flood defence schemes across the borough to protect homes, business and infrastructure and £11.9 million of cash from the GMCA to fund a new cycle scheme between Castleton and Rochdale town centre.
Council leader Allen Brett, said: "We've got ambitious plans for our borough and the current public health crisis has only strengthened our commitment to further our economic growth and create opportunities for all.
"In recent months, despite the awful situation we all find ourselves in, we've overseen the safe opening of the new shopping and leisure development, Rochdale Riverside, the submission of a final stage major bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund to redevelop our Grade I listed town hall and issued planning consent for the multi-million pound link road at Junction 19.
"The fact that all this has happened during such a time of unprecedented challenge shows that investors and funding bodies recognise the huge potential of the borough and are keen to be involved in its continued development."