Rochdale Riverside is hailing a bumper 2021, which saw footfall hit almost 1m, despite the challenges of the pandemic.
Footfall has steadily climbed since our opening in spring 2020, with 933,000 visits recorded last year.
Helping to drive the increased footfall was a crop of new openings in 2021, including high street favourites Nando’s, New Look and Dunkin’ Donuts. Loaded Burgers also opened their doors in the first few weeks of this year.
Councillor John Blundell, cabinet member for regeneration and communications at Rochdale Borough Council, hailed the success of the development.
He said: “Rochdale Riverside is something the council, RDA and Genr8 have been developing for a number of years and none of us could have predicted that its opening would have coincided with an international pandemic.
“Despite this incredibly challenging backdrop, the scheme has gone from strength, with a further seven occupiers signed and now operating since covid hit. The fact that it’s thrived in the way it has shows that major operators and high street names see Rochdale as a really attractive prospect for investment and will help us attract even more businesses and opportunities into Rochdale as we continue to build a better borough.”
The scheme has also created 455 permanent jobs, with almost 70 per cent of these being Rochdale borough residents.
In addition to M&S and many others, Rochdale Riverside has also brought in names which have never had a presence in the borough before, including a large, two storey H&M and a Next store.
It has also brought a cinema, Reel, to the town centre, for the first time in almost three decades, while Puttstars mini golf and restaurants like Heavenly Desserts, Crust Pizza and Nando’s have also bolstered the town centre’s leisure offer.
Rachel Byrne, Rochdale Riverside manager, said: “We’re delighted with the popularity of the Riverside scheme and it will only get better, with more units expected to open this year.
“Being such a flexible space, Rochdale Riverside now hosts events like the regular vegan and artisan markets and the Christmas lights switch on, which also help to bring people in to support the Riverside scheme, along with the wider town centre and its large business community.”