Multi million pound grant for pedestrian improvements.
Tuesday 27th November 2018 @ 18:18 by Anna Fletcher
Community News

A multi million pound regional grant will be used to make Oldham’s ‘hilly’ town centre better for pedestrians.

The council has been awarded £6m from the ‘Local Growth Deal ’ by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority for a major scheme to improve regeneration and connectivity in the town.

Cabinet chiefs have this week given approval for senior officers to sign off on submitting a business case to Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), which will allow the programme to progress.

The borough’s leader Sean Fielding told the committee the grant demonstrated that regional bosses had ‘confidence’ in the town hall to deliver transformation projects.

Cabinet member for neighbourhoods, Councillor Arooj Shah said: “This grant is actually funding that was devolved  to the combined authority and we have to make sure that we spend it by March 2021.

“The £6m will actually look to improve the work that we’ve already done to improve public realm and connectivity and build on the investment that we’ve made to date.

“With the focus of the programme actually being on the works that are being developed to improve the pedestrian environment through the town around the market hall area and improve the pedestrian links to the Civic Centre and the Oldham bus station into the core shopping area.

“And again it will complement a final town centre masterplan once it is agreed. I think this is a good news story because the benefit of it is it adds to our capital programme.”

The programme is being designed to complement a final town centre masterplan once agreed.

Once TfGM is happy with the plans officers will release the grant and a contractor will be procured for the works.

Cllr Fielding said: “I do think it is worth highlighting that this is £6m that has been brought in from outside, it’s not our money.

“It’s Greater Manchester that has confidence in us to deliver projects that will change Oldham town centre.

“I think that connectivity is incredibly important because as lots of people will know, Oldham town centre is very hilly and so making it easier to negotiate for pedestrians and those that aren’t using motor vehicles is the right thing to do.

“And I think that there is some really good stuff that will complement our ambition in the town centre that will be delivered by this money that other people have given to us.”

Cllr Abdul Jabbar added: “This is a really brilliant initiative for our borough.”

The proposals will support the council’s ambition for town centre to be an ‘exemplar sustainable and low carbon town centre with a number of pedestrian and cycle improvements.’