Upperbanks CGI, Rochdale Development Agency, P Rochdale Council
The Upperbanks development is partially funded through the Future High Streets Fund and the GMCA's Brownfield Development Fund. Credit: via Rochdale Council

Rochdale’s £60m Upperbanks set for 2024 completion

Julia Hatmaker

Work is underway on the scheme now that Rochdale has formalised its appointment of Willmott Dixon as main contractor.

Willmott Dixon has been on the site performing enabling works since October 2020 but had not been officially appointed until the council’s cabinet meeting on 21 September.

Upperbanks will include 242 apartments spread out between two nine-storey blocks and a 146-bed Hampton by Hilton hotel. Cartwright Pickard designed the apartment part of the scheme, bringing it up to RIBA stage four. Leach Rhodes Walker is taking the scheme to stage five. Upperbanks is delivered by Rochdale Development Agency.

Developer Genr8 worked with Rochdale Borough Council and the RDA on the project. Walker Sime is the project manager and quantity surveyor.

It’s located next to the Rochdale Riverside retail and leisure project, which completed last year and is now more than 90% let. Current tenants at Rochdale Riverside include H&M, M&S and Reel Cinema.

Upperbanks CGI Apartments, Rochdale Development Agency, P Rochdale Council

Upperbanks will include 242 apartments. Credit: via Rochdale Council

More than £20m of external funding is helping power the scheme, as well as more than £17m from the government’s Future High Streets Fund and more than £3m from the Greater Manchester’s Combined Authority’s Brownfield Development Fund.

“The appointment of Willmott Dixon is another crucial step forward for this fantastic scheme, which will regenerate this key brownfield site, and create a brand new housing and leisure offer which is unlike anything we currently have in this area,” said Cllr John Blundell, cabinet member for economy and communications at Rochdale Council.

“Willmott Dixon is a known and trusted company, which previously constructed the Rochdale Riverside retail and leisure development,” Blundell continued. “On that project, they contracted key local companies like Hovingtons and created a number of local employment opportunities, including for ex-armed forces personnel. I’m looking forward to seeing them build on this track record to deliver wider social benefits once again this time ’round.”

Upperbanks CGI 2, Rochdale Development Agency, P Rochdale Council

View from Upperbanks of the retail part of the Rochdale Riverside scheme. Credit: via Rochdale Council

Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the North said that the company was “proud” to secure the contract and to help shape Rochdale’s future.

“We are committed to delivering brilliant buildings, transforming lives, strengthening communities and enhancing the environment so our towns are fit for future generations,” Dillon said.

“This project will be built for the people of Rochdale by the people of Rochdale, and we will work with our local supply chain partners to create sustainable employment opportunities and a lasting positive legacy in this community,” he continued.

“The local pride in Rochdale Riverside and the continued level of inward investment being attracted to exciting developments such as Upperbanks, make it a blueprint for vital town centre regeneration across the UK.”

Upperbanks CGI Hotel, Rochdale Development Agency, P Rochdale Council

Upperbanks, including its new hotel, is expected to complete in 2024. Credit: via Rochdale Counci

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I think upperbanks is a fantastic development and will definitely bring Rochdale back on the map.

By Brent Paul Bowker