£306 million investment strategy set to be approved by Oldham Council

AN ambitious plan to transform Oldham, including creating more than 2,000 new homes in the town centre, 1,000 new jobs and 100 apprenticeship opportunities, is set to be approved by Oldham Council. 

The ‘Creating a Better Place’ vision will unlock £306m of investment across Oldham by focusing on building more homes for local people, delivering new jobs through town centre regeneration, and ensuring Oldham is a great place to visit and do business.

Oldham Council has undertaken a detailed review of the regeneration plans for the borough in order to strengthen the focus on building homes in the town centre.

This means it will be able to meet the urgent need for more housing for residents – designed for a range of budgets and needs – by prioritising urban sites, and where possible, avoiding building on greenbelt land to protect the borough’s much-loved open spaces.

‘Creating a Better Place’ is expected to significantly boost regeneration across the town centre, making it a destination of choice with lots of family-friendly and accessible places to go, creating a vibrant night-time economy and improving the variety of retail space. The Council is also committed to preserving Tommyfield Market and providing a sustainable future for it.

Councillor Sean Fielding, Leader of the Council, said: “Since becoming Leader of the Council I have listened to what residents are saying about the future of the borough and I have undertaken a detailed review of the evidence.

“I believe that this refocus of our plans will be revolutionary for Oldham, bringing jobs, homes and investment into our town centre and will help to create a better place to work, live and visit.

“Oldham Town Centre is at the heart of our borough and the potential to create lasting change is immense. Together, we can Create a Better Place to secure the future of our town centre and ensure it thrives.”

‘Creating a Better Place’ is a boroughwide plan building on Oldham Council’s Town Centre Vision – a framework published in July last year which aims to address the challenges faced by town centres and sets out the priority areas for regeneration with housing as the catalyst.

It will provide an approach for the Council to support inclusive growth, thriving communities and the co-operative agenda by:

  • Building quality homes
  • Providing opportunities to learn and gain new skills
  • Providing opportunities to grow local businesses and create jobs
  • Supporting Oldham’s ambition to be the greenest borough
  • Embedding sustainability, energy efficiency and low (zero) carbon
  • Improving life-chances and the health/well-being of our residents and local communities.

The strategy will build on Oldham’s recent successful town centre regeneration projects including the redevelopment of the Old Town Hall, improved connectivity via Metrolink and the redevelopment of Oldham Leisure Centre and Parliament Square.

Whilst construction work to transform the former Oldham Library into OMA – a state-of-the-art £13m arts and heritage centre which will offer galleries, a modern archive facility and performance space – will soon begin.

It accompanies ongoing investment and regeneration projects across the borough including:

  • The new Saddleworth School in Diggle
  • Redevelopment of Alexandra Park depot to support the ground-breaking Northern Roots project which will create the biggest ecological centre and urban farm in the UK
  • The refurbishment of Royton Town Hall
  • The development of a leading hotel at Prince’s Gate, Oldham Mumps
  • Other projects to be announced in the coming months.

The Cabinet will discuss the report at its meeting on Monday 27 January. For more information visit https://www.oldham.gov.uk/info/200608/meetings.

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