Client: Oldham Council

In 2013, AMION Consulting was appointed by Oldham Council to undertake an economic impact assessment of proposals to bring forward key redevelopment projects within the town centre, comprising of eight individual interventions.  The economic impact assessment focused upon the range of possible economic benefits that may arise from the redevelopment proposals, including the new employment opportunities that may be created, the additional GVA generated and wider socio-economic benefits.

The strategic vision for the regeneration of the town centre is set out in the Investment Prospectus for Oldham Town Centre and calls for the creation of a ‘more vibrant, revitalised centre that plays a greater role in Greater Manchester.’  The Investment Prospectus recognises Oldham’s capacity for growth, where Metrolink, ultrafast next generation broadband and improved public realm create the setting for new development and investment opportunities.

The redevelopment programme was developed to address a number of weaknesses impacting on local economic performance. These included:

  • significant leakage of retail expenditure;
  • poor internal links resulting in a fractured town centre;
  • a poor built environment;
  • predominance of the public sector in the town centre office market;
  • a limited housing offer within and around the town centre; and
  • a lack of a broad, family friendly range of leisure activities.

A £100 million capital investment programme is being implemented by Oldham Council to support the economic regeneration of the town centre. This includes a new hotel, a leisure centre, improved retail offer, residential development, public realm, a cinema, a theatre and a heritage centre. There will also be improvements to commercial premises across the town centre.

The Economic Impact Assessment was carried out in line with the HM Treasury’s Green Book and looked at a range of benefits, including:

  • residential units;
  • employment floorspace developed and improved
  • temporary construction employment created during the construction phase;
  • permanent employment created through the provision of new employment floorspace;
  • additional local expenditure; and
  • GVA.

In relation to each benefit, both the gross and net additional impact was assessed.  The assessment of the net additional impact involved making adjustments to allow for leakage, displacement, multiplier effects and deadweight.

In addition to the above economic benefits, the wider, qualitative impacts of each of the interventions were assessed.  This involved considering the impact of each option in terms of, for example, the regeneration of deprived communities, improvements to the image of the local area and environmental improvements.

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