Ground broken on Greater Manchester town centre as redevelopment gathers pace

Construction of the new hub is well underway
Radcliffe Town Centre transformationRadcliffe Town Centre transformation
Radcliffe Town Centre transformation

Demolition of a large part of Radcliffe town centre is gathering pace as a major new ‘hub’ for the town is set to be built. Diggers and cranes have moved into an enclosed compound in the area around the town’s central piazza, close to the market hall, where numerous buildings are being levelled to make way for the civic hub.

The shopping plaza at 13-21 Blackburn Street and the TSB bank building are some of the structures being demolished as part of the plans. The plans also include refurbishment of the Market Chambers building and the next door Market Hall basement, for use as a multi-use event space.

Much of the money for the development has come from the award of £20m to the project from the Levelling Up fund in early 2022. The new three-storey civic hub building will be built between Dale Street and Radcliffe Market.

The new hub will be the fulcrum of leisure facilities and sporting provision across Radcliffe. There will be two swimming pools at in the centre, a 25m, six-lane main pool and 17m x 10m learner pool.

The pools will have an integrated moveable floor designed to Sport England specification and 150 spectator seats. However, residents in the town are facing a considerable gap in services until the new building opens as the existing leisure centre off Spring Lane will close on Sunday, December 10.

Radcliffe Town Centre transformationRadcliffe Town Centre transformation
Radcliffe Town Centre transformation

That is to allow for decommissioning of the site prior to handover to the Department for Education, who are building a new high school there alongside school group Star Academies. Shoppers visiting the market hall as the demolition work took place were cautiously optimistic about the regeneration.

Jill Ellison, 51, from Stand Lane, said: “Radcliffe hasn’t been invested in for decades. The centre is dying. “I hope it works, I genuinely do, but there needs to be shops and cafés in town centres too to get people back here.”

Bill Jenkins, 79, said: “To be honest the area needed knocking down a long time ago. Radcliffe is a shadow of what it once was. “You could get everything here at one time but almost all of that’s gone. Let’s hope it looks smarter when they’ve finished.”