A contractor has now been appointed to build the new 2.2km link road from junction 19 of the M62 motorway.
John Sisk and Son has been appointed to deliver the project on the road which will help support the creation of 1,000 new homes, a new primary school, and more than 135,000 sq m of employment space.
It follows the announcement of £10m from the Government’s £900m Getting Building Fund to support the delivery of the road as part of its commitment to help drive forward ‘shovel ready’ schemes.
It is expected that as well as Department for Transport money, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Highways England, and the scheme’s developer partner, Russell Homes, are also helping to fund the link road.
Preparatory works by Sisk are expected to start in the Autumn, with road completion set for Spring 2022.
The scheme, which is being delivered by Rochdale Development Agency and Rochdale Borough Council in conjunction with Russell Homes, is estimated to be worth £175m a year to the local economy once complete, and is set to create around 2,800 full time equivalent jobs.
The new link road is part of the borough’s growth plan, which sets out the major economic developments the council and RDA is aiming to progress over the next decade.
Cllr Neil Emmott, Cabinet Member for Environment at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “This is a proud moment for the borough and the result of many years of hard work by the council and Rochdale Development Agency.
“The new link road will bring significant improvements for residents and businesses in the Heywood and Middleton areas by providing a new direct access route from the M62 into the Heywood employment area, which will reroute HGV traffic away from Heywood, Birch and Bowlee.
“The social value Sisk has committed to as part of their contract also means that our residents should start to feel the benefit very quickly.”
As part of the contract, Sisk is aiming to recruit 80% of the project staff from the local area, create a number of traineeships and work experience opportunities, make sure than 65% of the spend is with local suppliers as well as generate volunteering opportunities for the local community.
Paul Brown, COO, UK Construction and Civil Engineering at Sisk, said: “Sisk is delighted to be appointed to build the link road on the M62 Motorway for this major regeneration scheme.
“We look forward to working with all stakeholders and the local community to create a real lasting legacy in Rochdale and the Greater Manchester region.
“Sisk will create a number of traineeships and work experience opportunities in Rochdale. As a fifth-generation family business, sustainability is a core driver of our organisation.”
Russell Homes director, Andrew Russell, said: “The link road is a vital piece of infrastructure to unlock the future economic development of South Heywood, and we are pleased to see the project progressing in line with our masterplan proposals.
“The link road will significantly improve connectivity for the South Heywood industrial zone and will help attract new businesses to the existing and new commercial premises under development in the area, with the potential to create around 2,800 new jobs, and benefit the hundreds of new homes which are set to be delivered over the coming years.”