Contractor appointed for Rochdale’s new retail and leisure development

Genr8 Developments has appointed major construction firm Wilmott Dixon to build Rochdale’s £80m retail and leisure development, Rochdale Riverside, with work due to start within weeks.

Delivered by a joint venture between Genr8 and Kajima in partnership with Rochdale Borough Council, the development comprises approximately 200,000 sq ft (60,970 sq m) of retail and leisure accommodation in the centre of Rochdale.

The appointment of the company, which was founded in 1852, is another major step forward for the scheme which will bring 24 new retail and leisure units and a six-screen cinema to the heart of Rochdale town centre. Work will start on site on 26 February.

The news comes just a week after Boots, JD Sports and River Island announced they would be investing more than £3m opening new stores within the scheme.

Contracts for work packages connected to the build, including groundwork, steelwork, roofing and cladding will be awarded in the coming months.  The contract is expected to plough millions into the local economy, with Wilmott Dixon estimating a spend of £21.5m direct with companies across Greater Manchester.

Willmott Dixon will be hosting a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event which will give local companies an opportunity to find out more about the work packages associated with the construction of Rochdale Riverside and how they can get involved. The event is due to take place in Rochdale town centre in March and will be advertised in the next few weeks.

Councillor Allen Brett, leader of Rochdale Borough Council, said: “It’s full steam ahead for Rochdale Riverside and I know our residents will welcome us reaching yet another important milestone in our flagship regeneration project.  This is the final part of Rochdale town centre’s £250m regeneration package, which has transformed this area in recent years.”

Mike Smith, partner, Genr8 Developments said: “We are very pleased to announce Willmott Dixon as lead contractor and look forward to seeing work commence on-site later this month. The scheme is now over 60% let and with works commencing on-site we expect to be able to announce further lettings soon.”

Although the number of new construction jobs the build will create has yet to be determined, it is estimated that 250 operatives could be working on the site at peak times. Around 80 different companies are likely to be subcontracted to help deliver the scheme. The scheme is also expected to create a number of apprenticeships.

Wilmott Dixon, whose North West office is based in Oldham, has worked on projects up and down the country, as well as several closer to home, including Rochdale Leisure centre and St Anne’s Academy in Middleton.

Anthony Dillon, managing director of Willmott Dixon in the North West, said: “As a locally based company, we are delighted to have been appointed for this flagship project which will be a fantastic new addition for the town as well as a catalyst to encourage new inward investment.  We’ll also support the local economy by using businesses from the area whenever possible during the build programme; we want to leave a lasting legacy that all can be proud.”

Lambert Smith Hampton represented the council on the Rochdale Riverside project, providing development and investment advice. Cheetham & Mortimer and JLL are representing Genr8 and Kajima.

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