A major new development set to create hundreds of new homes in Rochdale town centre could be in line for a £4million funding boost.
Greater Manchester leaders are set to vote on a motion that would allocate £4million of GMCA funding for Rochdale Riverside phase 2, a mixed-use scheme comprising 220 apartments, a hotel and offices. Rochdale Borough Council would be required to match fund the sum.
If funding is approved at the meeting next Friday (29 November 2019), it would be a major vote of confidence in the scheme and the continuing radical transformation of Rochdale town centre.
The new scheme will sit alongside the Rochdale Riverside phase one. The first phase of Rochdale Riverside is due to open in spring 2020 and will bring 200,000 square feet of new retail and leisure accommodation to the heart of the town centre.
Rochdale Riverside is a joint venture between Genr8 and Kajima, in partnership with Rochdale Borough Council.
A planning application for enabling works for Rochdale Riverside phase 2 has been submitted and initial site investigations have already been completed. If funding is secured, construction is expected to start in mid-2020.
Steve Rumbelow, chief executive of Rochdale Borough Council, said: “Rochdale Riverside is a key part of our £400million investment programme for Rochdale town centre. We’ve already transformed much of the area, with new transport infrastructure, a new customer service centre, office and library and more. But our ambition is bigger than that and there’s still much more to deliver. What we’ve done so far is a statement of intent for what we want to see in our borough and the support of the GMCA is testament to that.”
Wider plans for Rochdale include the creation of 2,000 new homes in and around the town centre and enhancement of the town's heritage offer, including the £16million restoration of the Grade I-listed Rochdale Town Hall. Major improvements to public realm, including the redevelopment of Rochdale train station and its surrounding area are also in the pipeline.
The vast majority of existing housing in the town centre area is affordable, such as that at Lower Falinge, and the scheme offers the opportunity to introduce a mixed tenure as part of wider regeneration plans.
The proposed investment from the GMCA goes alongside a recent announcement that Rochdale has been shortlisted under Phase 1b of the Future High Streets Fund and will receive revenue grant to develop a full business case for capital funding to implement its transformational town centre regeneration scheme. It also demonstrates the wider public sector working together to deliver joint objectives.
Mike Smith, partner at Genr8 Developments, said: “Rochdale’s approach to regeneration is about one thing - delivery, and GMCA’s support for the next phase is recognition of the fact that Rochdale is delivering. Phase one of the Riverside development is on schedule to open in Easter 2020 with a stunning line up, and GMCA’s endorsement of the next phase will help us to push on still further towards creating a repositioned and sustainable town centre.”