Masterplan maps out Royton town centre future

ROYTON is earmarked for a multi-million pound, 10-year facelift – but nothing is set in concrete yet!

An old picture of Market Street, Royton

The Royton Masterplan, all 118 pages of it, is described as a “visionary document”.

However, it is a guide only for “possible future investment and improvements” in the district centre.

The bill to complete all the proposed schemes will come to an estimated net cost of £2.3 million.

The Masterplan aims to harness and enhance Royton’s existing character including:

• Its location at the urban/rural interface with foot hills of the Pennines

• Its strong industrial heritage and its role in the area’s industrial history

• Its distinctive vernacular related to the textile mill industry

• Its older history based around Royton Hall, its estate and links to the Byron family

• The series of significant heritage buildings and spaces

• The town’s cultural heritage and communal memory

• The Market

A map of the planned development

Among the first schemes earmarked are for improved street lighting, signage, street trees and street furniture, the enhancement of Royton Park to Green Flag status, enhance Royton Hall open space as heritage park plus improved civic square.

The report prepared by Oldham Council, in partnership with HLP architects, goes on to says: “The commercial property market review concludes that Royton is evolving from a retail-centred economy to a mixed economy with leisure, housing and retail with an established weekly market.

“Development will re-populate the town centre which will help to stimulate the local economy and complement other local retail destinations.”

The Masterplan process also saw extensive consultation with residents, businesses and others with an interest in the area.

The final document identifies a range of desirable outcomes, potential investment and redevelopment across eight infrastructure areas and seven themed strategies.

It includes measures to produce better traffic, parking, economic and retail prospects plus a focus on how to improve the public realm and external places.

You can download and read the Masterplan online: http://committees.oldham.gov.uk/documents/s88020/Royton

Refurbishment works are already set to start in April to transform Royton Town Hall as part of a £2million investment to improve local facilities.

This will see Royton Library controversially moving from its current location into the ground floor of the historic town hall venue.

The new library will be a modern community venue fit for the 21st century which also preserves and respects the building’s heritage features.

The plans include remodelled open space to the rear of the building with better disabled access and improved links between the library, health centre and leisure centre facilities.

The vacated library building is being marketed as an attractive, centrally-located, commercial opportunity to the private sector which would enable it to have a modern use and breathe new life into the area.

Oldham Council is seeking to find a tenant with a sympathetic view to the heritage of the building with a vision to offer something new that benefits everyone in the district.

 

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