Rochdale Borough Council’s Cabinet has reaffirmed its commitment to the Rochdale Riverside retail and leisure development.

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Councillors had been asked to consider the future direction of the scheme, following the announcement late last year by anchor tenant M&S that it intended to pull out of the development.

But councillors vowed to press ahead with the £80m scheme at a special meeting held tonight (Thursday 4 January).

Council leader, Councillor Allen Brett, said: “As far as we’re concerned, M&S have signed a legally binding contract to take space in the Rochdale Riverside development and we fully expect them to honour that commitment.

“We’re not going to let this issue derail what will be a fantastic development for the people of our borough, bringing 24 shops and restaurants, as well as a six-screen cinema, to the heart of Rochdale town centre. We will continue to work with our partner, Genr8, to deliver this game-changing development for our residents and visitors.”

Councillor John Blundell, cabinet member for regeneration at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “We’re gearing up to make a number of high profile announcements about the scheme in the next few weeks and more extensive ground investigations, needed to assess conditions before construction starts, will be getting underway next week. This is about a new and exciting future for Rochdale and we fully intend to deliver it.”

For more information about this story, please contact Rochdale Borough Council’s media team on 01706 926002 or newsdesk@rochdale.gov.uk

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