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Willmott Dixon to start main build on £60m Rochdale site

Willmott Dixon has been formally appointed as main contractor on a £60m scheme to build 242 new apartments for rent and a Hampton by Hilton hotel in Rochdale town centre.

The contractor has been readying the Upperbanks site for months and will now start main construction within days.

Willmott Dixon recently built the neighbouring shopping and leisure development Rochdale Riverside and is aiming to ensure 40% of its local spend is committed within a 20 mile radius of the Upperbanks site, while 75% of it will be spent within 40 miles.

The scheme has been awarded £20m of external funding from the government’s Future High Streets Fund and the Greater Manchester’s Combined Authority’s Brownfield Development Fund.

Councillor John Blundell, cabinet member for economy and communications, said: “The appointment of Willmott Dixon is another crucial step forward for this fantastic scheme, which will regenerate this key brownfield site, and create a brand new housing and leisure offer which is unlike anything we currently have in this area.

“Willmott Dixon is a known and trusted company, which previously constructed the Rochdale Riverside retail and leisure development. On that project, they contracted key local companies like Hovingtons, and created a number of local employment opportunities, including for ex-armed forces personnel.

“I’m looking forward to seeing them build on this track record to deliver wider social benefits once again this time round.”

Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the North, said: “We are hugely proud to continue to play our part in shaping the future of Rochdale town centre and to be working in partnership once again with Rochdale Borough Council, Rochdale Development Agency, Genr8 and our architect partners Leach Rhodes Walker and KKA.

“We are committed to delivering brilliant buildings, transforming lives, strengthening communities and enhancing the environment so our towns are fit for future generations.

“This project will be built for the people of Rochdale by the people of Rochdale, and we will work with our local supply chain partners to create sustainable employment opportunities and a lasting positive legacy in this community.

“The local pride in Rochdale Riverside and the continued level of inward investment being attracted to exciting developments such as Upperbanks, make it a blueprint for vital town centre regeneration across the UK.”

Construction is set for completion in early 2024.