A former cotton mill in Rochdale has reopened as a not-for-profit enterprise centre complete with creche.
The Unique Enterprise Centre offers space for start-up businesses with training and nursery and crèche facilities and is now home to the Kashmir Youth Project (KYP), an organisation set up in the 1970s by young men living in the Wardleworth area in a bid to bridge skills gaps. The upper two floors of the building provide office space for local people looking to set up new businesses.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Andy Burnham MP, officially opened the centre, which was made possible with a £1.5m grant under the SRB5 Revitalising Inner Rochdale Regeneration programme matched by the European Regional Development Fund and Neighbourhood Renewal Fund.
The project was developed in partnership between Rochdale Development Agency, Rochdale council and the KYP. The building, converted from a mill that had been disused for many years, is part of the regeneration work under the Oldham Rochdale Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder.
John Hudson, chief executive of Rochdale Development Agency, said: "A range of opportunities is provided at the centre from training in IT and languages to the provision of child-care, making it a one-stop shop for getting a business off the ground. Wardleworth is an area undergoing comprehensive regeneration and the centre will support the local economy.
"Coupled with the proposed health centre on Belfield Road and other employment proposals nearby, Unique Enterprise Centre will help kick start the transformation of the area."