Plans to redevelop Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre have been approved – kickstarting the major transformation of Oldham town centre.
The planning application was granted permission by Oldham Council’s planning committee on Wednesday 8 June.
It will see space within Spindles completely repurposed – providing a new home for Tommyfield Market, improving retail areas and creating new venues for work, leisure and entertainment.
Cllr Amanda Chadderton, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing, said: “These plans will breathe much-needed new life into the town centre.
“We are creating a fantastic mixed-used building which offers something for everyone including shopping, entertainment, food and drink, culture, event space and places to work and grow your business.
“High streets have changed and are no longer sustainable if they just focus on retail. We are determined to make sure Oldham offers everything people tell us they want, and the redevelopment of Spindles is at the heart of this.”
The planning application sets out how we will completely redevelop the site.
The main shopping area will be on the lower mall and will connect to a brand new split-level Tommyfield Market, which will be built in and around the former TJ Hughes unit.
Stalls selling a wide range of products and services will be at mall level, while a dedicated food and drink court will connect to Parliament Square.
Above the market, we’re creating a new events space for public and private use with a rooftop terrace offering views across the borough.
The design and layout will allow us to keep the food market and events space open until late – boosting Oldham’s night-time offer for residents and visitors.
A new archive space will also give people better access to Oldham’s museum, archive and library collections – much of which is currently in storage. Our new venue will offer a public search room and reading room giving access to thousands of historical records and artefacts.
The archive space will be developed within part of the Town Square mall and car park, and will be a new home for Oldham Local Studies and Archives – so we can free-up the existing Union Street building as part of our plans for a new theatre and improved cultural quarter.
On the upper mall of Spindles, we’re creating new high quality offices including independently operated co-working space for entrepreneurs and local businesses. It will give them flexiblible, contemporary workspaces with modern facilities and 24 hour access.
Our plans also include new cycle storage and changing facilities, roof mounted solar photovoltaic panels, public realm improvements, and other associated works to improve the building for visitors.
Preparatory works for the redevelopment have already started with the main works due to get underway over the coming weeks.
One of the major changes will be the demolition of the former TJ Hughes building while work will be ongoing across the centre to make way for the new venues.
Spindles and the car park will be open throughout the redevelopment and we’ll do our best to keep disruption to a minimum.
The redevelopment is expected to take around 18 months and Tommyfield Market will continue to operate within the existing market hall until it relocates to its new home.
Cllr Chadderton added: “The future of Oldham is really exciting and there are already lots of other regeneration projects well on their way, including bringing the Old Library back into public use and ongoing works to improve town centre streets and public areas for pedestrians and cyclists.
“Plans for a new theatre and home for Oldham Coliseum in our amazing cultural quarter will also be submitted shortly.
“We’re getting on with building new homes including at the former Oldham Mumps Railway Station, and we’re investing in the next generation, with Blue Coat’s new Brian Clarke Academy at the old Sainsbury’s site really taking shape and a new sixth form from Eton College and Star Academies due to open in the town centre in 2025.
“Oldham will soon be a much better place, one we can all be proud of.”