The arrival of a Morrisons M local store in Rochdale town centre has moved a step to closer with the national supermarket formally signing a deal to bring their convenience style store to Smith Street.
The arrival of the store is set to create around 20 new jobs, with the national chain looking to recruit local people to a range of positions, including management and team members.
Located next to the new transport interchange and opposite the new town centre Metrolink stop, the store, which Morrisons are aiming to open early next year, will offer more fresh food – as opposed to just tins and toiletries – to enable customers to cook a meal from scratch or buy a high quality ready meal.
A spokesperson for Morrisons said: “We’re looking forward to bringing a Morrisons M local to Rochdale. As well as new jobs, fresh food will be at the heart of our new store and our team will work hard to make the store a positive addition to the Rochdale community.”
Richard Ward, of the developers’ Millerbrook Properties Ltd, who own the building, is expecting the deal to be a spur for further investment into the building, with the potential for new uses within the front section which lies on the corner of Drake Street and Smith Street.
He said: “Morrisons represents a key milestone in the delivery of this exciting mixed use project we are working to bring to the town centre, which will also include a café / wine bar facing towards The Butts. We are currently in discussions with potential occupiers to turn this project into a reality. From the outset, Rochdale Council’s planning team and the Rochdale Development Agency have been really supportive and have helped make this happen.”
Councillor Richard Farnell, Leader of Rochdale Borough Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “The fact that Morrisons want to come to Rochdale shows that they know the town centre is on the up. We are working hard to bring big names here because it’s what our residents and visitors want and, more importantly, the economic boost will bring much needed investment and jobs for the people of our borough. Now that we are building this momentum, we are expecting other businesses to follow suit.”
The arrival of Morrisons will also bring the Listed building at Number Two Smith Street, formerly the Nile nightclub, back into use after it stood empty for around two years. The building, which was originally built in 1810 and was once the Wellington Hotel, will be developed sympathetically to preserve its character.