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City-region leaders have approved the creation of the Atom Valley Mayoral Development Zone (MDZ) to facilitate development along a new corridor in North-east Greater Manchester.
The area has potential to create around 20,000 new, high-quality jobs in the city-region, 1.6 million square metres of employment space, and 7,000 new low-carbon homes. The MDZ will use similar powers to those granted to Stockport’s Mayoral Development Corporation, and will bring together national agencies, local public and private sector partners to guide development and unlock investment.
Once complete, the Atom Valley area will form a hub for innovation in advanced materials, manufacturing, and green technologies, with world-leading facilities and work and training opportunities for local residents.
The newly created Mayoral Development Zone will cover the Northern Gateway in Bury and Rochdale, the Kingsway Business Park in Rochdale, and Stakehill in Rochdale and Oldham, and also connect sites with town centres across North Manchester via the Bee Network of walking and cycling routes; a Metrolink extension to Middleton has also been proposed.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said:
“Today’s decision is a green light for our plans to transform the economy of our city-region and rebalance the scales of growth and opportunity.
“Our priority has always been to deliver inclusive growth that benefits all of our people and places. Atom Valley will offer world-class facilities for research and innovation, powering the skills and jobs needed to drive a new industrial revolution in advanced manufacturing and green technologies. It will also be the catalyst for revitalising town centres in the north east of the city-region, with new transport links integrated into our Bee Network – and as part of this we’re looking at all options to deliver Metrolink right into the centre of Middleton.
“While the future of the national levelling up agenda hangs in the balance, we’re getting on with our vision for a Greater Manchester that delivers good jobs, good homes, and better opportunities for everyone.”