North West council seeks £550m development partner

Oldham Council has kicked off the search for a development partner for a £550m plan to redevelop its town centre.

A contract notice for a master development private-sector partner has been published for the mammoth scheme, which would begin next year and last until 2048.

The council is looking to redevelop three sites, including its civic centre, a former magistrates court and a leisure centre, with up to 1,075 apartments.

The council stated that it has “some further sites that it may wish to include” in the scope of the project at a future date. It has named six other sites, including Tommyfield Market, as locations for work in the notice. These would feature up to 925 further apartments.

The contract is worth between £350m and £550m, with the core sites expected to be worth £150m to £250m. The additional opportunity sites are worth an extra £150m to £200m, and further development on third-party land is worth £50m to £100m.

The total contract has a 25-year length, with an initial 15-year duration and an optional 10-year extension.

Last month, the local authority approved plans to redevelop the Spindles shopping centre, which would see the site repurposed to provide a new home for the Tommyfield Market. In April, Willmott Dixon was chosen to redevelop the site.

Commenting on the master development partner contract, Oldham Council leader Amanda Chadderton said: “We want to work with a partner who shares our drive and vision for Oldham – the opportunity is there and we want you to be a part of it.”

To support the procurement process, the council has developed a Development Prospectus, which outlines its strategic vision, including redefining the retail core, upgrading the night-time economy and providing high-quality town centre living.

Interested parties have until 11 August to express their interest, with the procurement expected to take nine months to complete. Procurement documents can be accessed through North West procurement portal The Chest.

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