AN Oldham mill is being converted into self-storage, office, business and hospitality events spaces in a £3million redevelopment programme which could also create 100 jobs.
Ram Mill in Chadderton is being redeveloped by owner SHF Group, a family-owned business. Shire Storage plans to open a number of storage sites around Greater Manchester, with the 55,000sq ft single-level facility at Ram Mill being its first.
The former textile mill on Gordon Street was built in 1907 towards the end of the Lancashire cotton boom. Its relatively modern construction includes concrete floors that were designed to reduce fire risks and are suited to modern storage purposes, says Shire Storage.
Ram Mill was designed by the architectural firm of Stott & Sons, who were responsible for many mills around Lancashire. Features include terracotta stripes and a cupola-topped tower, which were characteristic of Stott & Sons designs.
Ram Mill’s ceased textile production in 1971 as the industry moved overseas. It changed ownership over the years and was bought by the Akbar family in 2008. The family, who have links to Huddersfield, Cheshire and Hertforsdhire, then used it as a base for their import and retail businesses.
Now Javed Akbar, aged 44, is overseeing the mill’s redevelopment with brothers Jahid, Saeed and Pervez.
Javed said: “Our family owns a number of properties and businesses across the UK including two textile firms that were previously located in Berkshire and Bedfordshire. When we bought Ram Mill, we merged those two businesses’ distribution activities together under one roof at Chadderton”
“Those businesses did very well with a £35 million turnover. However, in more recent years our textile distribution activities have decreased due a number of factors, including changes in the retail and mail order markets. As a result, we had spare space in the mill which we wanted to put do different uses
“Ram Mill means a lot to us. It’s been central to our family businesses and we’re confident it will become an important venue for lots of different businesses under the redevelopment.
“We are carrying out work in six phases over two years. We’ve completed a wide range of internal and external property improvements, including the replacement of 450 windows. There are 250 self-storage units, ranging from 10 sq ft lockers to 6,000 sq ft units. The building has the capacity to provide business and office space for over 800 people. Events and banqueting spaces could accommodate up to 1,800 delegates.
“This is a good location close to the M60 and M62 motorways with easy connections across the north. The local economy in Oldham will benefit from this investment too and we forecast new jobs in roles including administration, customer services and security. In two years, there could be 100 new jobs based here to service these new facilities.”
To mark the first phase of the site’s redevelopment, the owners held a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by the Akbar brothers’ father, Akbar Ali, and mother, Arshad Bibi.
[learn_more caption=”For more details”] call 0161 470 6999 or visit www.shireselfstorage.co.uk[/learn_more]