Oldham town centre plans unveiled

David McCourt

Oldham Council has given the green light for plans to transform Oldham town centre around its forthcoming Metrolink extension.

At a cabinet meeting, members approved funding for an extensive programme of works to deliver significant changes and upgrades to the area.

The plans are focussed on key sites along the future tram route and its three new stops, creating improved gateways and new focal points along the Union Street corridor, and at King Street.

The aim is to create new public spaces and to improve the town centre environment as a destination for residents, visitors, workers and businesses.

The works are part of a wider four-year programme of public realm improvements and will cost an estimated £2.5m from the £11m already allocated in Oldham Council's capital programme.

The approval means Transport for Greater Manchester can instruct their contractors, MPT, to complete the works alongside the construction already planned, and with no extension to the delivery timetable.

Cllr Jim McMahon, Oldham Council leader, said: "These plans are all about our ambition and determination to deliver a new high-quality environment in Oldham town centre.

"We are looking to go above and beyond the standard finish you get with a new Metrolink line and deliver something extra.

"These plans will significantly improve a visitor's first impression of Oldham. They will enhance the pedestrian experience and provide a range of new vistas and views with a more memorable townscape, greener spaces, logical routes, plus better landmarks and signage.

"We're also aware of the state of the roads in the town centre and will ensure that is put right as these works are completed."

The improvement works will see King Street become the main entrance to the town centre for people arriving west by tram. This space is closely connected to Oldham Sixth Form College and will including a terraced seating area and a raised plaza serving as a gathering space for pedestrians, shoppers and students.

The area around the new Oldham Central stop, directly adjacent to Sainsbury's on Union Street, will be pedestrianised with access to the town centre's shopping and retail core. There are also other planned redevelopments at the Old Town Hall and plans to create a new Heritage Centre and Coliseum site on Union Street.

York stone and granite-style kerbs will define the pedestrian and tram-only areas. The paving and kerbing along all of Union Street will also be upgraded with new planters installed.

The wider programme includes several potential locations for public art installations, which the public will be consulted on at a later date.

The full cabinet report with further detail about the plans can be viewed online.

Oldham Town Centre

Oldham Town Centre

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