Work starts on £150m regeneration scheme to boost housing and jobs prospects

Cllr Neil Emmott, left, and Nick Culshaw

Work to create a new link road at junction 19 of the M62 is officially under way, with contractor John Sisk & Son starting the build on site.

The project, one of the biggest regeneration schemes in the region, involves the construction of a new road to create a new access route from the M62 directly into the Heywood employment area, off Pilsworth Road.

The new road is expected to support the creation of 1,000 new homes, a new primary school, and more than 135,000 m2 of employment space.

It is estimated that the project, being led by Rochdale Council and Rochdale Development Agency in conjunction with Russell Homes, will create around 2,800 full time equivalent jobs. The overall development value of the scheme is estimated to be in the region of £150m.

Sisk, which was appointed in Autumn last year, has already undertaken advanced preparatory works, with traffic management measures set to be introduced to enable the project to progress.

These measures include:

  • The closure of Hareshill Road on Monday, February 8, to through traffic. Access to the residential properties located on Hareshill Road will be from Manchester Road only. Access to the distribution centres on Hareshill Road will continue to be from Pilsworth Road. Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times.
  • The closure of one lane of the eastbound off-slip road at junction 19 of the M62 from February 15, until November 30, 2021.
  • The installation of temporary two-way traffic lights on Manchester Road next to Hareshill Road. These will be in place from February 5, to September 16, 2021, and will be phased to avoid full road closures.
  • The installation of narrow lanes and temporary traffic lights on Pilsworth Road and Hareshill Road from February 8, 2021, to January 10, 2022.

The project has already attracted £22m of external funding, with support from Highways England, TfGM and the GMCA.

The milestone follows the announcement from Highways England that it has selected its preferred option for a major upgrade of the Simister Island junction following a public consultation last year, improving links between the M60, M62 and M66.

Construction work is due to start by Spring 2025. The changes will reduce congestion in the Heywood area and improve journey times for the borough’s residents and businesses.

Cllr Neil Emmott, cabinet member for quality of place at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “The new link road will bring huge long term benefits for residents and businesses.

“It will reroute HGV traffic away from Heywood town centre, as well as Birch and Bowlee, significantly reducing congestion in these residential areas, while making it quicker and easier for business to move their vehicles between the motorway and Heywood and Hareshill Distribution Parks.”

He added: “I’m pleased that work on this game-changing project is now under way, with construction of the road set to be completed next year. And, with major improvements also planned for Simister Island, this is yet another boost to our borough’s abundant transport system.”

Nick Culshaw, managing director, UK Civils and Rail, John Sisk & Son, said: “Sisk is delighted to begin works at at junction 19 of the M62 and be part of this major regeneration scheme.

“We look forward to working with all stakeholders and the local community of Heywood and surrounding areas to deliver the new link road. We see this project as an opportunity to create genuine social value through our support of SME’s, local job creation and support of local education.”