The local authority has acquired the 450,000 sq ft Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre for an undisclosed sum to “kick-start” the town’s £306m regeneration, said council leader Sean Fielding.
The acquisition of Spindles, from investor Kennedy Wilson, will “unlock brownfield sites” to bring forward up to 2,500 homes and employment space under a 10-year strategy called Creating a Better Place, according to the Council.
Fielding, said: “Acquiring [the shopping centre] is a fantastic opportunity to kick-start transformational change and provide a catalyst for post-Covid recovery.”
He added: “Owning the shopping centre will enable us to deliver on many of the things residents tell us they want.”
Under the council’s plans for Spindles, which was built in the 1990s, Tommyfield Market on Henshaw Street will be relocated to a more “prominent location”.
The shopping centre itself will be refurbished and a linear park, stretching from the existing Tommyfield Market site to the former Sports Centre site, is also proposed.
Plans for the site are being drawn up by a team including consultancy CBRE, landscape architect Planit-IE and architect SimpsonHaugh.
Council staff will move into vacant office units within Spindles but the shopping centre, whose occupiers include fashion retailers H&M and JD Sports, will continue to trade as normal.
Agency Savills will continue to manage the shopping centre.
Over the coming months Oldham Council will continue to work with its development and delivery advisors CBRE to progress redevelopment options ahead of a wider public consultation and engagement exercise, according to the council.
“We have a bold vision for Oldham but the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the local economy. It has underlined that we need to do everything we can to safeguard the future of our town,” Fielding said.
Metis Real Estate is the retail agent for Spindles.