The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, gave his backing to Rochdale’s residential strategy, as he visited the first of 2,000 new homes proposed for the town centre as part of the council’s £400m regeneration programme.
The seven new apartments have been created inside a listed building at 2 Smith Street, formerly a coaching inn, which has undergone a £1m refurbishment. Developers Millberbook received support from the council, which is pushing for further residential development in Rochdale town centre.
Millerbrook, which owns properties in the Northern Quarter, has already let two of its Rochdale properties and believe that the borough will be the next urban centre to experience major housing growth.
Richard Ward, development director, said: “With many renters now being priced out of the Manchester city centre market, we firmly believe that surrounding boroughs with excellent transport links into the city, like Rochdale, will become increasingly popular.”
The new homes are in Rochdale town centre’s Heritage Action Zone, one of just 16 areas of historical interest across the country, which have been selected to receive targeted support from Historic England to help them regenerate over a five year period.
Almost £800,000 of building grants have already been made available to help convert and restore historic buildings in Rochdale’s Heritage Action Zone. The area also takes in Central Retail Park, which was acquired by the council late last year for £13.2m with a view to creating around 150 new homes.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “I’m really impressed with what I’ve seen today. Rochdale has changed significantly since the last time I came, with all the redevelopment that’s taking place, and it’s so nice to see the old and the new sitting side by side. What’s always differentiated Rochdale is a heritage offer that’s over and above and it’s great to see old buildings like this being given a new lease of life. I’m really confident about the regeneration which the council is undertaking here and I’m supporting their efforts all the way. A lot has taken place and it’s the start of even more to come.”
Richard Ward, added: “It was great to welcome Andy to the apartments and he was clearly impressed with what he saw. With all the development that’s happening Rochdale town centre, the timing is exactly right to create a residential offer here and I’m not surprised that we’ve already let two of our apartments.”
Councillor John Blundell, cabinet member for regeneration at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “Creating housing in the town centre is a next major phase of our £400m regeneration programme. Residential development will bring new life into the town centre, which will help support our new shopping and leisure development and create communities which flourish because they’re focussed around our major amenities and transport links.
“Millerbrook have hit the ground running with their first residential development in Rochdale town centre and I’m sure that it will be a spur for many more new homes in this area.”
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