New country park to green North Manchester

A funding package of £4.9m has been set aside to create a new forest on post-industrial land in Oldham.

The North West Development Agency funding will help pay for up to 175 acres of land at Moston Brook, in Failsworth and New Moston, to be transformed into community woodland.

The new forest would link existing green spaces in Lightbowne Country Park and Moston Vale.

The NWDA and the Forestry Commission are working with the site's landowners, Manchester City Council, Oldham Council and Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority in partnership with Groundwork Northwest, Environment Agency and Pennine Edge Forest to develop detailed costed proposals.

Part of the eastern edge of Moston Brook falls within the Oldham and Rochdale Housing Market Renewal pathfinder area. Moston Brook is situated next to three of the forthcoming Metrolink stations for the Manchester to Rochdale and Oldham line as well as being alongside part of the Manchester to Leeds railway track.

Plans for the site also aim to change not just local perceptions of the area, the intention is to alter the regional view of Moston Brook as the site is bisected by the busy A663 Broadway Manchester to Oldham road, which also links into the M62 Leeds to Liverpool motorway.

Manchester City Council leader, Sir Richard Leese, said: "Today's announcement of funding brings us another step closer to transforming and regenerating Moston Brook. By working closely with our partners on this project we aim to develop links between the communities either side of the brook, create a stunning environment for both businesses, residents and visitors to enjoy, and encourage and support the economic growth of the area."

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