Plans for a new retail and family leisure and entertainment development to support the wider regeneration of Rochdale town centre are being progressed by Genr8, Rochdale Development Agency and Rochdale Borough Council.
An important milestone has been met with the formal signing of the Development Agreement with Genr8/Kajima that was substantially agreed last November.
All parties, together with the owners of the Wheatsheaf have now agreed the legal basis on which to progress plans to create a brand new retail and entertainment district at the heart of the town.
Councillor Peter Williams, cabinet member for economic development and customer services at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “We had to make sure that we had a clear timetable in place for the demolition of the old bus station and multi-storey car park and an agreed design for the new Wheatsheaf entrance before formally commencing the Genr8 Agreement. Now the legal agreements are in place we look forward to Genr8 developing their plans for this important site, with the council’s support and involvement”.
Following constructive discussions with the Wheatsheaf owners the Council has invited formal tenders from demolition contractors to start removing the old Municipal Office buildings, the current bus station, overhead walkways and multi-storey car park as soon as the new bus interchange is operational.
John Hudson, Chief Executive of Rochdale Development Agency, said: “We have reached another important stage in the ongoing regeneration of the town centre. With the Metrolink and bus interchange nearing completion and the new public spaces on Smith Street almost finished, people should find it much easier to move around in this part of the town centre and we hope this will encourage more visitors and shoppers.”
Mike Smith, Senior Partner at Genr8 , said: “Rochdale Borough Council, supported by the RDA, has done a magnificent job in creating this unique development opportunity right at the heart of the town centre and immediately next to the new transport interchange. We are really pleased that the project is now ready to go live and look forward to working with the Council and RDA to deliver an appropriate retail and leisure development on this important site”.