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Oldham Council launches search for partner in £350m Masterplan

Oldham Council is to launch its search or a development partner to deliver its £350m Town Centre Masterplan.

The northern council will start its procurement exercise this summer, subject to cabinet approval on 26 March, to secure a partner to work with and deliver its scheme to transform the town over a 10 to 15-year period.

The Masterplan’s vision centres on significant areas of publicly-owned land where many sites are under-utilised or have buildings coming to the end of their economic life.

These sites total around 21 acres in size, and include Tommyfield Market, the Civic Centre, Oldham Police Station, the former Oldham Sports Centre and former Magistrates’ Court, and the current Oldham Coliseum Theatre.

Last year there was a public consultation into the outline of the Masterplan, which has since been refined based on the feedback and the input from a team of industry advisers.

Through the Masterplan, Oldham will see the construction of new homes, new and refurbished employment space and economic activity worth an estimated £50m each year, as well as hundreds of new jobs.

At a recent meeting with market traders, the council agreed to examine how it could best support them over the next 18 months while the new market hall is built.

The Cabinet will be asked to reduce rents in order to demonstrate their support and commitment to traders during that time.

Jean Stretton, Oldham Council leader, explained: “We’re looking for a partner who shares our drive and ambition to make Oldham a great place to live, work and do business – and deliver on our vision for a town centre that can thrive round the clock as a place where residents want to live and spend their leisure time.”

She continued: “Subject to Cabinet approval, further details and information on the OJEU notice and process to secure a partner will be announced shortly afterwards. We’re looking forward to selecting and working alongside our developer partner on the next stage of this vital journey for Oldham.”

The OJEU notice is expected to be triggered in June 2018, and selection of a preferred partner and the start of on-site works are expected to begin in Autumn 2019.

Top image: arrowsg

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