Multi million pound boost for local companies as Rochdale Riverside races ahead

Rochdale town centre’s £80m leisure and retail development, Rochdale Riverside, is delivering a timely payday for local firms, new figures reveal.

A number of key contracts on site have been awarded to local firms, with over 80 per cent of the spend so far by contractors Willmott Dixon being committed within Greater Manchester.

Contractors Willmott Dixon have awarded contracts amounting to 40.2 per cent of their total spend so far with companies in Rochdale, well above their 30 per cent target, with Chichester Street based Hovington’s securing a £7.2m contract to do the groundworks on site earlier this year.

A further 42.4 per cent of spend has gone to Greater Manchester based companies, with Irlam-based Cara Steel and Bolton-based Network Scaffolding recently winning contracts worth a total of more than £1.3m.

The figures were released as the project, which is set to be worth £17m a year to local economy once complete, passed a number of construction milestones.

Remediation on the multi-storey car park at the John Street end of the site will finish shortly after Christmas, and piling for the 40,000 square feet M&S unit is under way.

The shops are also emerging, with metal frames for most of the retail units now in place and work to put their roofs in place starting in the new year. The leisure block at the Bailie Street end of the site, which will feature restaurants and a six screen cinema, is also progressing well, with concrete floors in place and the contractors starting to build out the cladding.

And the scheme has also driven up local employment, with over 60 per cent of the 80 people who are currently employed on site living within 20 miles of the development.

Closer to home, Rochdale town centre businesses have  benefitted, with the site team regularly buying from many of the local food and drink outlets, including the Laughing Loaf, Petit Café and the Flying Horse.

Councillor John Blundell, cabinet member for regeneration at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “I’m really pleased to hear that this game-changing scheme is already delivering massive benefits for our town centre and it’s particularly fitting that local businesses and local people are playing a central role in the creation of a development which will transform their borough and improve the town centre for years to come.”

The 200,000 square feet Rochdale Riverside development, which is expected to create around 1,000 permanent jobs once completed in summer 2020, is being delivered by Genr8 Developments and Kajima in partnership with Rochdale Borough Council.

The project is part of the £400m regeneration of Rochdale town centre, which has also included a new transport interchange and town centre Metrolink stop, the re-opening of the River Roch,  and the creation of a new leisure centre and sixth form college.