Plans unveiled to transform Tameside area into creative hub to rival Media City – with thousands of new jobs on offer

A masterplan for a Tameside neighborhood which could create nearly 2,000 new jobs has been unveiled.

Tameside’s executive cabinet has approved the creation of an ’emerging masterplan’ for the St Petersfield area of ​​Ashton-under-Lyne.

These include proposals for around 61 new homes, 18,000 sqm of commercial and office floorspace, 4,500sqm of hotel space, and ancillary food and beverage establishments.

There has been a long held vision by the council for the St Petersfield area, which has gone through a number of iterations since development of the area stalled with the 2008 financial crash.

Council leader Brenda Warrington said: “It’s really exciting now that we’re managing to kickstart again some of those initiatives that were there but ended up in the doldrums for quite a long time.

“I’m really pleased that this amongst others is now going to become a reality, soon I hope, and will start to put the faith back in the area.

“It’s really going to put Tameside on the map as a place to come, a place to set up business, a place to live and a place to be.”

Bosses believe that by capitalizing on the success of the redevelopment of Ashton Old Baths, the St Petersfield area could become a hub for the growth of the digital, creative and tech sector.

They say that the installation of the dark fiber network in the borough, and the new data center at Ashton Old Baths means it has the connectivity to rival Media City.

Despite demand for office space dropping as people worked from home during the pandemic, chiefs say a recent market review has identified a ‘continued demand for offices and meeting space, as part of well-designed, flexible development with high levels of physical and digital connectivity ‘.

A cabinet report states: “Along with an improved public realm, this quantum of delivery have the potential to create 1,900 new jobs £1.75m business rates income and c£100m GVA (gross value added) for the borough.”

Cabinet member for finance, Councilor Oliver Ryan said: “We’ve got plans in place and St Petersfield is open for business.”

A new masterplan was commissioned in April last year, and has now highlighted nine potential development plots in the neighbourhood.

“By building on the success of Ashton Old Baths and by ensuring that development is sensitive to the conservation area it sits in, a new future for St Petersfield will provide a place for businesses to collaborate and grow, for people to live in a high quality home, to visit and spend time at their leisure in a much improved public realm that better connects St Petersfield to the core of Ashton,” officers state.

Gregg Stott, the council’s assistant director for investment, development and housing said that the council is now preparing the more detailed phase two works.

“The council is now looking to engage and partner with the private sector on the very huge potential and opportunity that St Petersfield represents,” he told councillors.

“We are very excited about taking forward the next stages. There’s an enormous amount of interest from the market.”

Coun Warren Bray added: “It’s such a marvelous thing to get it on the road again because when the financial crisis hit everything stopped in St Petersfield.

“Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that nothing else gets in the way.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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