Willmott Dixon lands £60m Rochdale regeneration scheme

Willmott Dixon has been appointed by Rochdale Borough Council for a large regeneration that will see the company deliver 242 apartments and a Hampton by Hilton hotel in the town centre.

Work on the £60m scheme, known as Upperbanks, will start next month with Willmott Dixon aiming to ensure 40% of its local spend is within a 20-mile radius of the site, while 75% spent within 40 miles.

Upperbanks has already generated over £20m of external funding, attracting over £17m from the government’s Future High Streets Fund and more than £3m from the Greater Manchester’s Combined Authority’s Brownfield Development Fund.

Councillor John Blundell, cabinet member for economy and communications at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “The appointment of Willmott Dixon is another crucial step forward for this fantastic scheme, which will totally regenerate this key brownfield site, and create a brand new housing and leisure offer which is unlike anything else we currently have in this area. 

“Willmott Dixon is a known and trusted company, which previously constructed the Rochdale Riverside retail and leisure development. On that project, they contracted key local companies like Hovingtons and created a number of local employment opportunities, including for ex armed forces personnel. I’m looking forward to seeing them build on this track record to deliver wider social benefits once again this time round.”

The Upperbanks site is next to the new Rochdale retail and leisure development that Willmott Dixon completed last year and is now over 90% let. The scheme boasts a number of major retail names, including H&M, M&S and River Island, alongside leisure operators, including Nandos, Loaded Burgers and Reel Cinema.

The project has procured through the Procurement Hub Major Projects framework. Anthony Dillon, Willmott Dixon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the north, said: “We are hugely proud to continue to play our part in shaping the future of Rochdale town centre and to be working in partnership once again with Rochdale Borough Council, Genr8 and our architect partners Leach Rhodes Walker and KKA. 

“We are committed to delivering brilliant buildings, transforming lives, strengthening communities and enhancing the environment so our towns are fit for future generations. This project will be built for the people of Rochdale by the people of Rochdale and we will work with our local supply chain partners to create sustainable employment opportunities and a lasting positive legacy in this community. 

“The local pride in Rochdale Riverside and the continued level of inward investment being attracted to exciting developments such as Upperbanks, make it a blueprint for vital town centre regeneration across the UK.”

The Upperbanks scheme is being delivered by Rochdale Development Agency and is set for completion in early 2024.

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