Rochdale Riverside partners team up for more

Developer Genr8 has formalised its partnership with Japanese investor Kajima Corporation, seeking further town centre regeneration opportunities across the UK.

The arrangement follows the opening last year of the £80m first phase of Rochdale Riverside, a 200,000 sq ft retail and leisure destination designed by architect TP Bennett.

The scheme opened in spring 2020, featuring a 50,000 sq ft Marks & Spencer and a six-screen cinema.

Having completed an £80m funding deal with M&G Investments to deliver the scheme, the partnership’s contractor Wilmott Dixon started on site with remediation works for the next phase, which is to include 240 apartments and a 146-bed Hilton hotel.

Genr8 and Kajima have now formally established Genr8 Kajima Regeneration as a limited company, with the intention of working with “aspirational councils to deliver transformational regeneration projects” in line with the Government’s levelling up agenda.

Richard Ingham, a founding partner of Manchester-based Genr8, said: “We’re making this announcement now because the partnership is focussed on successful delivery.

“Kajima and Genr8 have proven track records and Rochdale is proof positive that together we can deliver a new breed of town centres. The partnership wants to engage with public sector partners who are looking to bring about real physical and social change to their towns and city centres.”

Kirk Taylor, development director at Kajima Partnerships, added: “Having completed the first phase of Rochdale Riverside, we are really excited to be evolving our strategic partnership with Genr8.

“We believe that together, Kajima and Genr8 can bring both real expertise and financial resource to the Government’s ‘levelling-up’ agenda, for the benefit of communities around the country.”

Kajima manages more than 75 social infrastructure assets in the UK with a gross value of around £5bn.

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Surely it is too early to judge the Riverside in Rochdale as a success. It’s success cannot be judged 12 months after it’s opening. An opening that took place during lockdown. It still has vacant properties and most of the retail outlets have simply relocated from other shopping areas in the town, contributing to the decline in these areas.

By Paul Buckley

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