St Petersfield is one of three locations within the MDZ's scope. Credit: TODD Architects

Ashton Mayoral Development Zone ready for take-off

Improving health, tackling deprivation, and boosting productivity across three locations are among the ambitions Tameside Council’s AMDZ will aim to achieve. 

Tameside Council’s executive cabinet will meet this week to formally establish the creation of the Mayoral Development Zone, which incorporates Ashton town centre, the St Petersfield district, and Ashton Moss. 

Collectively, these three areas are known as the Ashton Growth Corridor – development and regeneration within the corridor will be guided by the overarching aims of the MDZ going forward. 

The idea behind the creation of the zone is underpinned by the aims of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to “rebalance the GM economy by accelerating the economic growth and competitiveness across the northern areas,” according to a report to Tameside’s cabinet. 

“A number of GM local authority areas, including Tameside, perform significantly worse overall than the regional centre and southern areas and this is forecast to continue to worsen unless there are co-ordinated interventions to address this”, the report adds. 

The idea of the Ashton MDZ – described as a “clear mechanism to align public and private sector investment” – was first announced in February 2022, when the council said it wanted to adopt a joined-up approach to development. 

Ashton Market Square NEW, Tameside Council, p Buttress Architects

Ashton Market Square will be transformed into a modern facility. Credit: via Buttress Architects

Some work in the three areas is already underway. Tameside Council was awarded almost £20m from the government’s Levelling Up Fund in 2021 to revamp Ashton town centre; plans for an upgraded market square were approved last month. 

Meanwhile, Ashton Moss is earmarked for a 1.7m sq ft employment site under the Places for Everyone joint plan.  

In St Petersfield, the council has signed off a masterplan – drawn up by LDA Design, CBRE, Curtins, Partisan and Todd Architects – that could see a £100m mixed-use scheme delivered.  

The council is now actively seeking a development partner for the project, which could feature 61 new homes, 193,000 sq ft of commercial space, and a 50,000 sq ft hotel.  

In addition, the council is exploring options around redeveloping the Arcades and Ladysmith shopping centres. 

The projects could see the delivery of 470 new homes, 91,000 sq ft of commercial space, a new health and wellbeing hub, and 90,000 sq ft of retained retail space. 

The success of the MDZ could have knock-on effects for the wider area. The cabinet report states that it could transform Ashton into “an economic growth engine” for the east of city region with the potential to “strengthen links with Yorkshire” by offering jobs, education, and homes. 

Elsewhere in Greater Manchester, Stockport’s Mayoral Development Corporation has resulted in a spike in regeneration activity west of the town centre.

The vehicle, which has cross-party political support, has provided certainty to would-be investors who might have otherwise overlooked Stockport due to its often fractious political landscape.

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Had to be in Ashton. There aren’t any other places in Tameside

By Frances hyde-tetley

What about spending money on droylsden for a change. Ashton has had so much money spent on it already

By Anonymous

Here we go again 😠 more money being thrown at Ashton town centre why bother about other shopping and employment centers like Droylsden Town centre being left to rot.

By Michael Carney Droylsden

Yes, Hyde Cheshire was ruined by the London government invention of Tameside, and the mass transplantion ot tens of thousands of Mancunians to Hattersley. They have never integrated socially or economically. Central planning has ruined Hyde, Cheshire. Ashton, Lancashire the new capital city of Tameside seems to get loads of money.

By Anonymous

Brilliant – strategic direction for growth!


Try giving something to Stalybridge for a change .When Quality Save closes next week it won’t be worth even going down there. It’s already a ghost town .

By Carole

Since I have lived in tameside around 15 years significant funding has all gone into 1 place

New transport interchange
New college building
Extensive repairs on town hall
Market refurb twice
The One building
Renovation of ashton old baths
Proposed Petersfield
Proposed development of ladysmith shopping centre
Proposed health and we’ll being hub
Apologies if I have missed any


This disparity is alarming and a disgrace I recognise funding may have come from various sources but it seems tameside council only have ambitions for one of its towns hang your heads in shame those responsible

By Anonymous

Not a mention of Mossley as usual.

By Mike Hanlin

Do the councillors of Tameside ever come down to our shopping area all we see are boarded shops.Now Wilkos as gone followed by Boots,the people from the Silly Country bar & tap are putting there well earned money in livening up the place.Is it about time the council do something?

By Kathryn Clewlow,Droylsden

ashton needs to get rid of ladysmith and change like the town centre is fine

By Anonymous

It’s all well and good but a lot of shops are shutting down mainly because of the cost of rents. Plus the outside market needs to be undercover like bury. Also the toilets inside Ashton market are a discrace. Plus having anything done takes too long.

By Anonymous

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