The town’s leadership has unveiled a masterplan to create more than 10m sq ft of employment space and 12,000 homes over the next decade.
Issuing the new document, Rochdale Council said that more than £95m of external funding has already been secured to drive forward the plans outlined, which include:
• The allocation of land to bring forward 12,000 new homes, including 2,000 around the borough’s town centres and the delivery of 1,500 homes in new communities at North Middleton and South Heywood
• The continued redevelopment of town centres, including the restoration of Rochdale’s grade one-listed town hall, public realm improvements and the creation of masterplans for Heywood, Middleton and Littleborough
• The completion of the junction 19 link road to create new employment sites and homes at South Heywood, including the development of an advanced manufacturing park with links to universities, colleges and schools
• Major transport improvements including the construction of a new railway station at Slattocks between Castleton and Mills Hill on the Calder Valley line and the implementation of a tram-train service connecting Heywood with Castleton and Rochdale
• Investment in social infrastructure to support growth to include new secondary schools in Middleton and Littleborough and primary schools in Heywood, Castleton and Littleborough
The announcement follows a declaration of intent in April focused on the borough’s railway stations as hubs of development, following a blueprint designed by Broadway Malyan and WSP.
Cash already committed to projects intended to underpin growth include £23m-plus for the junction 19 link road, and a £4m commitment from tThe Greater Manchester Combined Authority to help progress Rochdale Riverside’s second phase, which is to include apartments and a hotel.
Close to £30m of Government funding has been committed for major flood defence schemes across the borough to protect homes, business and infrastructure and £11.9m is in place from the GMCA to fund a new cycle scheme between Castleton and Rochdale town centre.
According to the masterplan document, up to 2,000 homes can be delivered in the target town centres of Heywood, Littleborough, Middleton and Rochdale itself, where the town centre could provide 1,000 homes. There is also an aspiration for a university centre in Rochdale.
Leader of the council, Cllr Allen Brett, said: “In recent months, despite the awful situation we all find ourselves in, we’ve overseen the safe opening of the new shopping and leisure development, Rochdale Riverside, the submission of a final stage major bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund to redevelop our town hall and issued planning consent for the multi-million pound link road at junction 19.
“The fact that all this has happened during such a time of unprecedented challenge shows that investors and funding bodies recognise the huge potential of the borough and are keen to be involved in its continued development.”