Tameside Council to buy bus station land as part of major plans to regenerate town

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Council chiefs have agreed to buy the remaining site of the former Ashton-under-Lyne bus station as part of plans to regenerate the town.

Tameside’s executive cabinet has signed off on proposals to purchase a portion of land that previously housed the bus station in Ashton’s town centre for £150,000.

Ashton Interchange, the £32.7m new facility on Wellington Road, began operating in August 2020 after being developed by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) in partnership with Tameside council.

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It saw the previous bus station stands replaced by a concourse style building, with capacity for up to 145 bus departures an hour.

The Ashton Interchange and next to it, the parcel of land agreed to be purchased by Tameside council.The Ashton Interchange and next to it, the parcel of land agreed to be purchased by Tameside council.
The Ashton Interchange and next to it, the parcel of land agreed to be purchased by Tameside council. | Google maps

The remaining part of the former bus station next to the Arcades Shopping Centre has been lying empty and unused since the new facility opened.

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Members of the executive cabinet agreed to use part of the successful Levelling Up fund bid of nearly £20m of government funding for Ashton to purchase the land from TfGM.

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The report submitted to the meeting states that the bid included an allocation of £5.2m for the ‘remediation and service diversion works’ to the former transport interchange site.

This would be used to ‘unlock the site for future development’, alongside further private sector investment and change at The Arcades and Ladysmith Shopping Centre sites.

An external independent valuation of the site was undertaken which valued it at £150k.

The cabinet has also agreed to transfer three land assets to TfGM for £28k, which are the Freedom Gardens, former New Charter land, and the former Probation Services Office next to the new interchange.

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The remaining land where the now demolished bus stands stood has ‘strategic importance’ to the council, officers say, relating to its ‘prominent position’.

“The development of the new Interchange and Tameside One have delivered major regeneration in the town centre as part of the Vision Tameside programme,” the report adds.

“The site is now vacant and represents a future regeneration opportunity that is complementary to the investment delivered to date.

“In the longer term there is potential for future redevelopment of The Arcades and Ladysmith Shopping Centres for a wider mix of uses, including residential, that better reflects national trends and changing role of town centres. 

“By ensuring control of this strategically important site the council will be in a position to better shape and facilitate future development.”

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