08 March 2022 – Willmott Dixon’s town centre regeneration skills are being utilised by another local authority as Oldham Council appoints the company as the main contractor for the Spindles Town Square redevelopment.
It follows similar transformation work Willmott Dixon is delivering in the North West in Rochdale and Stockport, and will see the company demolish the former TJ Hughes unit as part of a wider masterplan to create a 450,000 square foot development that will be home to a new market, flexible offices, event space and heritage archive.
Councillor Arooj Shah, Oldham Council Leader, said: “I am delighted to announce Willmott Dixon as our construction partner for the redevelopment of Spindles. They’re a hugely experienced company whose northern headquarters are based in the borough – so they know first-hand the importance of this project and the positive change it is going to bring to our town.
“They share our ambition to make Oldham a place we can all be proud of and have committed to delivering over £10m in social value – all of which will benefit local people and businesses.”
Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the north, said: “As an Oldham-based company, we are really proud to be appointed to continue to play our part in shaping the future of the town centre alongside Oldham Council. Our focus is all about how we can deliver brilliant buildings, transform lives, strengthen communities and enhance the environment so our towns are fit for future generations.
“Our role here means that the Spindles Town Square redevelopment will be built for the people of Oldham by the people of Oldham, and we will work with our local supply chain partners to create sustainable employment opportunities and a lasting positive legacy in this community.”
Willmott Dixon’s team of regeneration specialists will now work with Oldham Council to provide expert advice to help shape detailed designs while also appointing the required specialist supply chain partners to support the full redevelopment works of the shopping centre.
The company will also deliver a £10m social value package as part of its ‘Upskilling in the Community’ plan that aims to create local jobs, economic growth and social mobility. With Spindles, Willmott Dixon will help to create 16 local jobs with Willmott Dixon– two of which will go to long-term unemployed residents.
It is also committed to spending £9m with the local supply chain and over £500k with Oldham’s micro, small and medium enterprises, as well as carry out a full refurbishment of the Fitton Hill Community Facility and support local charities and organisations to make a difference in the community.
Cllr Shah added: “We’re a co-operative council and we’re committed to creating an inclusive economy. This means that we spend money and invest locally as much as possible, and we ask those we work with to do the same. This way, our borough and the people and businesses in it directly benefit.
“The redevelopment of Spindles will transform Oldham and support our town to recover from the pandemic. I look forward to seeing work progress and delivering the many benefits this project will bring to the borough.”
The demolition of TJ Hughes will pave the way for a brand-new split-level Tommyfield Market which will be developed with retail stalls linking to the shopping mall and a dedicated food and drink area linking to Parliament Square. It will also include an event space above the new market, a new archive centre and new co-working space for entrepreneurs and start-ups.
The project was procured through the Procure North West Framework and subject to approvals, the main building works is expected to get underway later this year with the full redevelopment scheduled to complete towards the end of 2023.
Willmott Dixon’s portfolio of town centre regeneration projects in the North includes the £60m project to deliver 242 apartments and a Hampton by Hilton hotel at Upperbanks in Rochdale, adjacent to the £39m Rochdale Riverside retail and leisure development it completed in 2020. It is also on site with the multi-million-pound transport interchange and residential development in Stockport town centre and recently handed over its renovation of the iconic Globe Theatre in Stockton-On-Tees.
Last week, Willmott Dixon strengthened its specialist team working to support local authority levelling up plans by appointing Trafford Housing Trust’s former head of delivery Katherine Kitchener as regional head of land and development in the North. Kat will work with both public and private sector organisations to help accelerate town centre regeneration projects by leveraging funding, unlocking challenging sites and providing the extra capacity that can bring projects to site more quickly.