Hunt is on for Oldham joint venture partner

Oldham Council has launched the search for a development and investment partner to deliver the £60m Prince’s Gate at Oldham Mumps scheme, and form an investment vehicle to be used by councils across Greater Manchester.

The decision to start the selection process was approved by the council’s cabinet yesterday evening.

The mixed-use Prince’s Gate development aims to transform Oldham town centre’s eastern gateway around the Oldham Mumps Metrolink stop with 150,000 sq ft of commercial space, up to 800 homes, around 700 car parking spaces and a 51,500 sq ft Marks & Spencer as its anchor retail tenant.

The joint venture could be used to redevelop a number of other council-owned sites in Oldham suitable for residential and commercial, or mixed use, in the medium to long-term. The partnership would also be available for use by other councils within the city region.

The aim of the investment vehicle is to provide an efficient model for other local authorities to help get strategic and challenging regeneration schemes off the ground.

Cllr Jim McMahon, leader of Oldham Council, said: “Prince’s Gate at Oldham Mumps is a fantastic opportunity to deliver our most ambitious scheme for the town centre since the 1980s and we’re delighted to start the process of finding our delivery partner.

“The process of selecting suitable development and investor partners can be time-consuming and costly involving Europe-wide advertising and professional advice. Given the spirit of working as a City Region we thought that we shouldn’t go through this process without allowing for other Greater Manchester councils to join at a later stage, potentially saving time and public money.

“The joint venture investment vehicle we’re establishing here is a great way of simplifying potential issues around procurement, council subsidies and state aid when looking at self-delivery of growth at key sites.

“It starts with a foundation ‘bank’ of projects worth in excess of £100m, including around 1,000 residential units in Oldham but will soon be rolled out as an opportunity to our neighbouring authorities. There are many benefits to getting involved– not least being the ability for councils to retain an interest and a say in the development of strategic sites.”

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