Your Town Centre after lockdown

Home and dry: New town centre apartments nearing completion

Investing in Rochdale: Richard Ward from Millerbrook

Seven brand new apartments are ready to hit the market as part of Rochdale Borough Council’s £400m transformation of Rochdale town centre. 

Developers Millerbrook Properties have spent over £350,000 transforming the site at 2 Smith Street, which is in the Heritage Action Zone, an area receiving special support from Historic England and other partners to help revive its fortunes. 

The council offered a grant to support the project, which is the first private residential scheme in the town centre for a number of years and is expected to act as a catalyst for further private sector investment in the area. 

The homes are part of a historic building at the junction of Drake Street and Smith Street, which also houses the Wellington gastro pub, a former private residence and coaching house dating back to the 1760s, and Marnie’s hairdressers. 

The new openings will provide a boost to the next phase of the council’s £400m regeneration programme for Rochdale town centre, which will focus on creating new homes and further investment in heritage and public realm. 

The council is looking to bring forward 2,000 new homes in and around Rochdale town centre over the next 20 years as part of its brownfield first development strategy to create residential in areas close to amenities and major transport links. 

The news comes after the council acquired Central Retail Park, with a view to creating up to 150 new homes and apartments at the site. 

Richard Ward, from Millerbrook Properties, said: “The council’s support on this project was critical. Residential in Rochdale is a new market and that’s always risky for investors, but the council was willing to give us some help to get this project off the ground and without that support it probably wouldn’t have happened. 

“We believe that Rochdale will be a really attractive proposition for people looking to rent a home, now that so much regeneration has taken place. People living here will pay less than half what they would pay in Manchester city centre and, with the excellent transport links in Rochdale, you can get to Manchester in just 15 minutes, as well as having all the town centre amenities on your doorstep. We own another property in Drake Street and would be very interested in developing this should the Smith Street project prove a success.” 

Councillor John Blundell, cabinet member for regeneration at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “With £250m already invested, Rochdale town centre is an increasingly attractive prospect for investors. In recent weeks, we’ve approved applications for 170 new homes in Rochdale town centre, and across the borough we saw the biggest increase in new homes being built in Greater Manchester, with 799 new home completions in 2018. 

“It’s great to see Millerbrook investing yet again in Rochdale and bringing more of this fine building back into use. Creating new homes to support the new retail and leisure facilities in the town centre and further regenerate the area is the focus for the next major phase of regeneration in Rochdale town centre.” 

11 Jan 2019