Genr8 moves forward on both sides of Pennines

GENR8 Developments has begun a public consultation exercise over its plans for a £150m redevelopment of Rochdale town centre, while the local council has submitted a planning application for the final leg of a link road which will ease traffic congestion around the are set for redevelopment.

The final section of road is part of a major investment of over £250m in Rochdale town centre and will support a number of new developments, including the recently-opened Sixth Form College; the new Council offices, the extension to the Metrolink system and the proposed Transport Interchange, all due for completion over the next few years.

However, Rochdale Council is still awaiting a decision from the Department for Transport over its bid for £50m of funding to create the new interchange. The re-siting of the existing bus station and council offices is necessary for Genr8 to progress with its own town centre development plans.

Despite this, Manchester-based Genr8 and the Council have continued to develop plans for the £150m new retail development.

It includes creation of a new shopping street along Baillie Street connecting to the existing town centre shops and the Wheatsheaf Centre. It is proposed that a supermarket of up to 95,000 sq ft and a department store with a 1,000-space car park will anchor the scheme.

The proposals also include around 30 new retail units, a cinema, as well as new cafes and restaurants to boost the town’s evening economy. It is hoped that a planning application will be submitted at the end of the year.

Earlier this year, Genr8 agreed terms with Kajima as funding partner to take them through the planning phase of the project.

Mike Smith, partner at Genr8, commented; “Our plans for the regeneration of Rochdale town centre are gathering pace. The announcement of the final leg of the link road is a huge boost and demonstrates the Council’s ongoing commitment to the town centre as a whole.

“At the same time we have been seeking the public’s views on what they want for Rochdale in shopping terms and we believe we have a scheme which will be best in class.”

Meanwhile, Genr8 has also been granted planning permission for a £62.5m mixed-use development at Sowerby Bridge near Halifax in West Yorkshire. The scheme, on a brownfield site, will see 215 new family homes and more than 230,000 sq ft of employment, leisure and community space being built.

Genr8 has been developing the scheme in partnership with Yorkshire Forward and Calderdale Council since 2009 and has secured £6.25m of public sector cash to help pay for infrastructure works.

A new nature reserve will also cover 15 acres of the site.

Richard Ingham, partner at Genr8, said: “This is a key milestone in the delivery of this landmark development for Calderdale.

“The project will deliver significant investment in the area with 215 high quality family homes the potential for 600 new jobs.

Work will start on the site in August and the first new homes are expected to be ready in mid-2012.

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...