Rochdale Riverside March 6
Talks with other potential retail occupiers are ongoing

GALLERY | Rochdale Riverside eyes phase one completion

Dan Whelan

The £80m first phase of the retail and leisure-led development, a 200,000 sq ft shopping centre, is close to completion with a launch scheduled for 10 April.

The scheme is being brought forward by developer Genr8 Developments, Japanese firm Kajima and Rochdale Council, with Willmott Dixon as lead contractor.

M&S, which is scheduled to open four days before the launch on 6 April, is the anchor tenant at the TP Bennett-designed scheme and has signed to take 50,000 sq ft, while H&M will take 22,500 sq ft. Next has signed up for a 21,000 sq ft unit and River Island will take 9,000 sq ft over two floors.

Other retail tenants include Superdrug, Boots and JD Sport, while the food and drink offer features restaurants Nando’s, which has taken 3,500 sq ft, and Heavenly Desserts with 2,000 sq ft.  Greggs bakery, plus an as-yet-unnamed national coffee shop outlet and an independent cafe and cocktail bar are also confirmed, according to the developer.

Talks with a national operator for one of the two remaining restaurant units are ongoing. All of the confirmed tenants are on site completing fit-outs, while Genr8 is fitting out three additional units it plans to let on short-term deals.

Mike Gage And Allen Brett

Mike Smith, Genr8 (left) and Cllr Allen Brett, leader of Rochdale Council

A six-screen Reel Cinema, including one theatre available to hire for private functions, is close to being completed and will form part of the official launch, while Puttstars, which is part of Hollywood Bowl Group, is to open in May becoming the third branch and the first in the North West.

The complex will also feature a 520-space car park.

Meanwhile, plans for phase two, which will start on site in 2021 after receiving £4m in funding from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, are being finalised. They include upwards of 200 residential units, offices and a hotel.

Additionally, the former M&S building is to be redeveloped to form a mixed-use scheme with accompanying public realm connecting Rochdale Riverside with Yorkshire Street.

Rochdale Riverside March 7 In Text

The former M&S building (left) is earmarked for redevelopment as part of phase two

Mike Smith, partner at Genr8, told Place North West: “We want to bring people in to Rochdale. Riverside is not intended to compete with the Arndale and the Trafford Centre. It is for the people of Rochdale so they don’t have to make those journeys as often.

“It is all about delivery and we can say we have done that. Not just here but in Stoke and Halifax, too.”

John Searle, director of economy at Rochdale Council, said: “The high street retailers were missing but now we are giving those retailers what they want.

“It is an out-of-town scheme in the town centre but it is not all about retail, there is a lot of leisure. Previously, there was no evening economy [here]. This is just one piece of the wider generation of Rochdale.”

Cheetham & Mortimer and Lyons Thompson Letts are joint letting agents on Rochdale Riverside.

Click any image to launch gallery

Your Comments

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Do you not think that you will be taking trade away from the existing shops in the area as things favour to be on the decline on Yorkshire At and Drake Street

By John Merchant (Auld Man).

The above is all fantastic and I am delighted with everything. However myself as a single mother in low income and many friends that I know will still be shopping at The Rock, Bury or Oldham just for Primark. It’s not your faults just a shame we can’t get one in Rochdale anywhere. H&M is brill, we go out of town for H&M & Next. Prices and affordability end of day is each families personal circumstances. With council tax going up to it does not help. However I am still happy with all the effort and plans gone into the above. So many people in Rochdale from all walks of life are asking for a Primark, that one shop will keep many hundreds of customers from going out and will be the icing on the cake for customers in my situation. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my views and I’m looking forward to the retail & leisure development opening. The cinema is brilliant idea.

By Shahida Perween

So another cafe and bar moving in NAMES and also the old M&S building being used as well.we shall see.

By Mark Glendinning

The death of yorkshire street and drake street use the empty buildings for homeless shelters and emergancy accomodation otherwise the desolation will bring crimeand more widespread drug use

By Simon

The building looks awesome

By Oscar

Many of the big name stores already occupy sites in the town so what are the plans for the empty sites they are leaving behind?

By Colin Ralph

I wonder how long it’s going to be before it closes down like Rochdale Infirmary ?????!!!!!

By Roper

What about a Primark for the younger people

By N

I wonder if Sandbrook will go into decline as a consequence!! Also as previously mentioned, alot of the stores moving into this new development are not new businesses. I dont see any advantages to those Businesses on Market street, only more decline!! Though I would like to proved wrong.

By John

One of the great strengths of the Lancashire towns, is also one of the great weaknesses. Manchester was never the Mother city to them in the way London has always been to the Home Counties. They all had economic prowess in their own right, hence the magnificent town halls.Today they have to become part of the wider Manchester net to be part of that success.

By Elephant

Looks great. I hope it’s a success. I agree with comment by Shahida Rochdale should have a Primark. Essential. Thanks for letting us comment.

By Jan

Sorry but I think it may be money wasted on Rochdale complex..Not sure what clientele you will attract. Only ever go to Rochdale when its for medical purpose.Find it pretty grim and far from affluent people milling around. Hope it works though.

By Carol Milne

Where is Primark, i still have to travel to Bury for Primark.

By Anwar Miah

I Cannot understand why our council needed to build a new shopping centre when half of the shops in the Wheatsheaf Centre are stood empty especially when we are told that council has no money in the pot it just seems ludicrous and I wonder who is footing the bill but really I suppose I know the answer.

By M Connolly

Looks fantastic! Especially love those light columns. I think this will be really great when it’s finished and the shops are full!

By Snoutinthetrough

Rochdale’s 3rd shopping centre now?
Rochdale council have certainly ruined the centre.


It took them nearly ten years to build this. They milked this project for ages using out of town labour force.

By Anon

It’s a shame that a plan to better the town has received such a negative response, as seen in comments below.
I think it’s been desperately needed and clearly the strategy to place market leaders such as Next and M&S demonstrates a strong long term strategy which will benefit the town and it’s residents.
The addition of this within a stone’s throw of the tram stop should also entice people from a wider location who wouldn’t ordinarily bother with Rochdale.
Looking forward to what’s in store for phase two…

By Mark. R

I’m no economical expert just an ordinary Rochdalian who passes through Rochdale town centre 5 days a week due to my employment. I must say riverside looks modern and very spacious. I cannot understand why Rochdale centre has had a new shopping centre built when we can’t fill the 2 existing shopping centres .we all ready have . I’m all for new high street stores . But why didn’t the money get spent on filling the other 2 centres in the Wheatsheaf centre there’s more empty units than occupied ones . Which is quite sad . I have distant memories of a bustling town centre 20~25 years ago we had something for everyone Noah’s ark for younger kids tasty bite and lime light for arcades . Under 18s nights on Mondays and thurs a brilliant indoor / outdoor market , topman , Topshop ,mothercare,Adams , toymaster,hmv,poundstrecher evans,arid,littlewoods MacDonalds ect ….there’s a beggar on every corner the money could be well better spent look after the buildings bugs we’ve al ready got .id understand if we didn’t have 2 half empty centres as it is rochdale used to be a good place to shop now and then I only nip into the odd shop for toiletries or food to me it’s just another building for antisocial behaviour and aggressive beggars to blag a few pound off someone . Not for food or a bed for the night but there drug/drink habit there not even homeless and there’s enough help for them in Rochdale . But it’s them who don’t want to change they want to leave there flats beg enough money for there drugs go buy them get high and repeat

By Anonymous

we dont understand What was the point of M&S moving and Boots when them two shops had enough space as a store for what it is, yes i agree Next is something new for rochdale and Jd Sports im happy about as the one already we have is smaller and not everything we can buy from there.. and Superdrugs dont see why they needed to move that as a store again was big enough for a store it is.. The thing is We need a Primark everyone is saying they have to go Bury or Oldham or Manchester, council are saying it saves people from going out of town? how? when we are still going to go to the shops we have to as they are not here.. the Cinema was also not needed as we had Odeon.. big mistake council are making and the building itself thats getting made actualy looks like an office building no where near does it look like a shopping centre the colors dont show it.

By Imran

Absolutely a waste of money for a dying town, OK people will look around it give its a month or 2 and when novelty wears off they will go back to Bury Oldham, or mcr.

By Steve

After all these years rochdale finally opens a shopping centre, I went for a walk around to see what have they opened OMG what a hyped up shopping centre the only thing they got there is next no Primark what a waste of money and time I’ll rather go bury at least they designed it a lot better than rochdale

By Sid

They could have opened all this in the existing shopping centre and Yorkshire street what a waste of money and time

By John

It seems like Primark doesn’t want to come to rochdale

By Mike

Are all people in Rochdale as miserable and cynical as the people commenting on this article? The town deserves to die if they’re representative of the population.

By Sick of NIMBYs

No primemark was really looking foward to that but any way rest is beautiful cant wait.

By Naz