Construction contractor John Sisk and Son Ltd has been appointed to build the new 2.2km link road from junction 19 of the M62 motorway across to Pilsworth Road, in a major step forward for the game changing regional regeneration scheme.
The contractor, which has worked on major projects including Crossrail, The Royal Academy of Arts in London and the M58 in Sefton, was selected by Rochdale Borough Council following a competitive tendering process.
The appointment paves the way for work to start on the new road, which is expected to support the creation of 1,000 new homes, a new primary school, and over 135,000 sq m of employment space.
It follows the announcement of £10 million from the government's £900 million Getting Building Fund to support the delivery of the road as part of its commitment to help drive forward 'shovel ready' schemes which have the potential to provide huge economic benefits in the local area. The Department for Transport, through the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Highways England, and the scheme's developer partner Russell Homes, are also helping to fund the link road.
Preparatory works will start this autumn
Preparatory works by Sisk are expected to start in the autumn, with road completion set for spring 2022.
The, scheme, which is being delivered by Rochdale Development Agency (RDA) and Rochdale Borough Council in conjunction with Russell Homes, is estimated to be worth £175 million a year to the local economy once complete, and is set to create around 2,800 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs.
Councillor Neil Emmott, cabinet member for environment, said: "This is a proud moment for the borough and the result of many years of hard work by the council and Rochdale Development Agency.
"The new link road will bring significant improvements for residents and businesses in the Heywood and Middleton areas by providing a new direct access route from the M62 into the Heywood employment area, which will reroute heavy good vehicle traffic away from Heywood, Birch and Bowlee.
"The social value Sisk has committed to as part of their contract also means that our residents should start to feel the benefit very quickly."
Around 80% of project staff will be recruited from Rochdale and the surrounding area
As part of the contract, Sisk is aiming to:
- Recruit 80% of project staff from Rochdale and the surrounding area
- Create a number of traineeships and work experience opportunities
- Ensure 65% of project spend is with local suppliers (within a 20 mile radius of the project)
- Generate volunteering opportunities for the local community, with over 50 volunteering days to be provided
Paul Brown, Chief Operations Officer at UK Construction and Civil Engineering, said: "Sisk is delighted to be appointed to build the link road on the M62 Motorway for this major regeneration scheme. We look forward to working with all stakeholders and the local community to create a real lasting legacy in Rochdale and the Greater Manchester region. Sisk will create a number of traineeships and work experience opportunities in Rochdale. As a fifth-generation family business, sustainability is a core driver of our organisation."
Russell Homes director, Andrew Russell, said: "The link road is a vital piece of infrastructure to unlock the future economic development of South Heywood, and we are pleased to see the project progressing in line with our masterplan proposals.
"The link road will significantly improve connectivity for the South Heywood industrial zone and will help attract new businesses to the existing and new commercial premises under development in the area, with the potential to create around 2,800 new jobs, and benefit the hundreds of new homes which are set to be delivered over the coming years."
The link road is part of the borough's growth plan, which includes the creation of 20,000 new jobs and 12,000 homes over the next decade
The new link road is part of the borough's growth plan, which sets out the major economic developments the council and RDA is aiming to progress over the next decade. This includes the creation of 20,000 new jobs and 12,000 new homes, alongside major transport improvements, including the implementation of a tram-train connecting Heywood with Castleton and Rochdale.