Our project to transform streets and public areas across Oldham town centre is well underway – with noticeable improvements on Henshaw Street and Albion Street.
The work to make it easier, safer and more enjoyable to travel around Oldham – especially for cyclists and pedestrians – started in January earlier this year.
Oldham Council’s cabinet members received an update on the project at their meeting on Monday 17 October where they heard how the improvements are part of creating a sustainable town centre – making it a destination of choice. A place for work, leisure, culture, living and family-friendly activities.
Accessible Oldham is being funded by the Government Future High Streets Fund, Mayors Cycle and Walking Fund and Growth Deal 3 – with no internal council resources used.
Since the start of the works, significant improvements have been made including the removal of visually intrusive coverings, reinforcement of the ground and recycling of the existing materials – which have been finished to an even surface to provide a comfortable, safe, surface for all residents.
Sustainable drainage has also been incorporated into the newly created rain gardens, with the construction of the square on Curzon Street still taking shape.
Visitors and residents in the town centre will also be able to relax on the new seating and keen cyclists can make use of the cycle stands which have been installed.
The aim of all these works is simple; to create an improved pedestrian access and connectivity in the town centre significantly improving the linkage on Henshaw Street, Albion Street and the proposed linear park.
Accessible Oldham is part of larger The Creating a Better Place programme with projects including the development of Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre and bringing Tommyfield Market into the building, bringing the Old Library back into public use, building new homes at the former Oldham Mumps Railway Station and investing in the new Brian Clarke Academy at the old Sainsbury’s site.
Councillor Amanda Chadderton, Leader of the Council, said:
“The Accessible Oldham project is already making a huge difference to the look and feel of our town centre – it feels more modern and already looks more inviting to residents and visitors.
“The works will complement the wider regeneration works including the redevelopment of Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre and the creation of a brand-new park.
“We’ve previously consulted with you about Accessible Oldham, and your input has helped shape where the improvements have been made.
“Why did we do this? Well, I’ve lived here all my life and that’s why putting residents first is one of my top priorities.
“These improvements will make it so much easier for people to walk and cycle and get out and about more on foot and bike, reducing reliance on cars – which is great news for our own health and also for the planet.
“We want Oldham to be the greenest borough in Greater Manchester and our Green New Deal aims to make the council carbon neutral by 2025 and the whole borough by 2030.
“Accessible Oldham will support us in achieving these important environmental goals.”.
“I’m so excited about the plans for Oldham town centre and soon you will see our Creating a Better Place programme really come to life.
The works on Henshaw Street and Albion Street are expected to complete in March 2023.
Once complete it will see the town centre boasting improved retail areas, plus new work, leisure and entertainment venues.
The Spindles shopping centre also took a major step forward recently, as council staff moved into the first phase of new offices located on the upper mall.