Council has a month to submit plan to spend £20m of funding for Heywood makeover

Date published: 28 June 2024

Rochdale Council has just over a month to decide how to spend £20m on Heywood.

In September 2023, the town was officially announced as one of the 55 areas earmarked to benefit from the Government’s Long-Term Plan for Towns. The £19.510m will be released to Rochdale Council over the next 10 years once a plan has been established – just under £2m per year.

The deadline for the council to submit their long-term vision and three-year investment is 1 August 2024. Only then will the money be released.

In order to do this, the Heywood Town Board has been formed to put together the plan which will need to be completed before the money is released by the government’s levelling up department.

The board will contain councillors, the local MP (who will be decided on 4 July), a representative from the police and healthcare as well as a number of business and community figures from Heywood.

The government has provided £50,000 to support them to develop their proposal. This would involve multiple rounds of public engagement in order to better understand what area of the town is crying out for.

Although no decision has been made on what the money will go towards, the areas where the money can be spent is in transport, safety and education, the cabinet meeting on 25 June heard. The consultation for this is currently ongoing.

At the meeting at Number One Riverside, the cabinet also approved £879,390 of National Lottery Heritage Funding for the restoration of Broadfield Park Slopes. This matched their own contribution, meaning the project has £1,680,471 in total.

Work has been ongoing since 2021, with the area’s ancient natural past being uncovered through archaeological investigations. The site sits between Rochdale Town Hall and St Chad’s church located above.

Council papers read: “In addition to the National Lottery Heritage Funded elements of work, there has been replanting on the west slopes (phase 1) and in the future there will be ground stabilisation works on the south slopes (previously referred to as phase 2). Both of these phases are 100 per cent council funded.”

George Lythgoe, Local Democracy Reporter

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