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A plan for a £60M retail and leisure development in Rochdale town centre has been given the green light by councillors.

The planning committee approved the scheme, which will include a 50,000 sq ft Marks & Spencer (M&S), Next stores and a cinema. In total, there will be around 24 shops and restaurants.

It will be delivered jointly by Genr8 Developments and Kajima in partnership with the local authority. Genr8 Developments has said that it will be the “final element” of the town’s regeneration.

Council leader Richard Farnell (Labour) said: “This is yet more progress for this important development, which will bring High Street names that are not currently represented in Rochdale, as well as thriving restaurants and a cinema, which will create a fantastic destination for our residents and visitors. It will also boost our local economy by more than £17m and create around 1,000 jobs.”

Gary Davies, of the Rochdale Development Agency, said: “This decision is part of a wider regeneration which also includes the way the council has encouraged new retail outlets with discounted business rates – at present 17 out of 20 retail units are occupied in the town centre.”

Outline plans for the scheme’s second phase, which will a further investment into the town centre with potential new offices, a hotel, apartments and commercial uses has also been approved by councillors. The communities’ secretary will give the final decision.

Demolition works have already been completed and construction works are scheduled to commence by autumn with the scheme set to open for trade in mid-2019.

Source – UK Construction Online

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