Plans to build up to 2,000 homes in Oldham town centre have been boosted with £3 million of funding.
Oldham council has received the highest amount of money awarded to any of Greater Manchester’s local authorities from the government’s Brownfield Land Release Fund. It will go towards freeing up three key sites in the town centre for new, ‘sustainable homes’ of different types and sizes.
The funding is split across three sites, with the Civic Centre and Queen Elizabeth Hall plot being awarded £1.39m, the former Leisure Centre site, £1.39m and the former Magistrates Court, £370k. The money will be used to prepare the three sites for the construction of the new homes, including site remediation and preparatory works.
The fund is part of the One Public Estate programme – a £180m fund delivered over three years to help councils across England free up council-owned land for new homes. Council leader Arooj Shah said: “This is fantastic news and goes to show that the Government has faith in our plans for our all-new town centre.
“The money will be vital to help free up the land at these sites for new homes right in the heart of Oldham – alongside a new park, cleaner and greener public spaces, and new developments such as the new theatre, new market and new-look Spindles centre.
“We want to create a better town centre, not just to benefit the people who live here now, but for future generations – creating new communities, leisure opportunities and affordable housing for families.
“These new homes will bring more people into the town, supporting local businesses and providing more opportunities for people to shop, eat, drink and spend their free time. I’m excited to move the plans forward – and soon residents will start to see shovels in the ground.”
In July, Oldham council announced the town was to go into a 15 year partnership with Muse – a ‘placemaker’ company which has worked with numerous councils, including Salford, to deliver long-term regeneration projects. As part of the masterplan the authority is planning on creating a new six-acre ‘linear’park – named ‘Jubilee Park’ – on land due to be made vacant once the current Tommyfield Market building is demolished.
As part of other regeneration plans in the town, work is underway on the revamp of Spindles Shopping Centre which will include offices for both council staff and businesses, a new home for Tommyfield Market and events space; as well as plans for a new theatre and public space and a restored Old Library with cultural, civic and community spaces.