Oldham Town Deal Board has submitted plans to secure £41m funding as part of the government’s Towns Fund.
The Board, made up of representatives from across the public and private sectors, has developed the Town Investment Plan, which focuses on five projects to accelerate change across the town centre.
These include the UK’s largest urban farm and eco-park. Known as Northern Roots, the project will create 160 acres of high quality green space and environment enhancement for community use, a short walk from Oldham town centre. Funding of £8m will support the cost of enabling works and access routes, the construction of key infrastructure including the visitor centre, education centre, market garden and mountain biking hub.
Another project proposes the relocation of Tommyfield Market from its existing site into Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre, where £7m will facilitate the relocation of traders into the shopping centre as part of wider efforts to deliver the Oldham Town Centre Vision.
The Making Space – For Live Performance project will provide a new flexible performance space in the town centre for use by local arts and culture providers including Oldham Coliseum. Backed by £16m from the Towns Fund, the project will play a significant role in post Covid-19 recovery.
The £3.6bn Towns Fund aims to support regeneration projects in towns which have a proud industrial and economic heritage but have not always benefited from economic growth in the same way as more prosperous areas.
Oldham is among the 101 towns selected to submit a bid. The TIP will be followed by a detailed business plan for the projects.
“The Towns Fund is all about levelling up places like Oldham. The pandemic has widened this gap so this national investment will make a real difference to creating jobs, opportunities and growth when it’s needed more than ever,” said Cllr Sean Fielding, council leader and cabinet member for economy and enterprise.
“We’ve identified some really exciting projects which will put Oldham on the map and pave the way for a brighter future for our town.”