Oldham Council appoints Willmott Dixon to start Spindles redevelopment

OLDHAM Council has appointed Willmott Dixon as the main contractor for the Spindles Town Square redevelopment – kickstarting work on the building’s transformation.

The construction specialist will start by undertaking a series of ‘enabling works’, including the demolition of the former TJ Hughes unit.

Councillor Arooj Shah, Oldham Council Leader, said: “I am delighted to announce Willmott Dixon as our construction partner for the redevelopment of Spindles.

Oldham Council announce new development in Parliament Square, Oldham.
PIC L-R: Harry Catherall, Oldham Council Chief Executive, Council Leader Cllr Arooj Shah, Anthony Dixon, Willmott Dixon North MD.

“They’re a hugely experienced company whose northern headquarters are based in the borough – so they know first-hand the importance of this project and the positive change it is going to bring to our town.

“They share our ambition to make Oldham a place we can all be proud of and have committed to putting over £10m back into the community to benefit local people and businesses.”

Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the north, said: “As an Oldham-based company, we are really proud to be appointed to continue to play our part in shaping the future of the town centre alongside Oldham Council.

“Our focus is all about how we can deliver brilliant buildings, transform lives, strengthen communities and enhance the environment so our towns are fit for future generations. Our role here means that the Spindles redevelopment will be built for the people of Oldham by the people of Oldham, and we will work with our local supply chain partners to create sustainable employment opportunities and a lasting positive legacy in this community.”

View from Parliament Square showing exterior of new Tommyfield Market and events space (Pic: AEW Architects)

Willmott Dixon will also provide expert construction advice to help shape detailed designs while also appointing the required specialist subcontractors to support the full redevelopment works of the shopping centre.

Their £10m social value package will help to create 16 local jobs with Willmott Dixon Construction – two of which will go to long-term unemployed residents.

The company has also committed to spending around £8.8m with the local supply chain and around £625k with Oldham’s micro, small and medium enterprises.

They have also pledged to refurbish the Fitton Hill Community Facility and support local charities and organisations to make a difference in the community.

Oldham Council announce new development in Parliament Square, Oldham.
PIC L-R: Anthony Dixon, Willmott Dixon North MD, Council Leader Cllr Arooj Shah, Harry Catherall, Oldham Council Chief Executive.

Cllr Shah added: “We’re a co-operative council and we’re committed to creating an inclusive economy.

“This means that we spend money and invest locally as much as possible, and we ask those we work with to do the same. This way, our borough and the people and businesses in it directly benefit.

“The redevelopment of Spindles will transform Oldham and support our town to recover from the pandemic. I look forward to seeing work progress and delivering the many benefits this project will bring to the borough.”

The demolition of TJ Hughes will pave the way for a brand-new split-level Tommyfield Market which will be developed with retail stalls linking to the shopping mall and a dedicated food and drink area linking to Parliament Square.

We’ll also create an event space above the new market, a new archive centre and new co-working space for entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Approval to demolish the former TJ Hughes unit has already been granted and a detailed planning application for the main redevelopment will be submitted very soon.

Subject to approvals, the main building works are expected to get underway later this year with the full redevelopment scheduled to complete towards the end of 2023.

The shopping centre will remain open throughout the redevelopment, and we’ll work hard to minimise disruption.

The project was procured through the Procure Partnerships Framework.

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