Work to create a new entrance for the Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre is moving closer after Rochdale Council announced it has appointed building contractor Globe MSL to carry out the work.
The new entrance on Baillie Street will have a glass frontage and inside the centre there will be an open atrium containing six new escalators and two new lifts. Two new retail kiosks will also be created on the ground floor facing Baillie Street.
Moves to create a more inviting and accessible entrance are expected to increase shopper numbers to the Wheatsheaf and make it easier for people to get around the town centre.
In the longer term, it is expected to help create an improved Wheatsheaf Centre by making it easier to attract new retailers to the site. It will also be a vital link between the new town centre east development and the well-established shops in Yorkshire Street and the Exchange Shopping Centre.
North-West-based Globe MSL recently completed the new St Andrew’s Church building next to the leisure centre on Entwisle Road.
Rochdale Council Leader, Colin Lambert, said: “We see the Wheatsheaf as a critical part of our plans for a better town centre. Town Centre East is an exciting new development but it’s not the whole picture. An improved Wheatsheaf, a vibrant market, and of course the reopened river, will all play a vital part. Improvements like this will also link the different sections of our improved town centre together better, so everything it has to offer our visitors is easy to access.”
Martin Ballard, Manager of the Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre said: ‘As a business within the town centre we are proud to be part of what will become the gateway to Rochdale. This good news is one of many positive changes to the Wheatsheaf which will enable us to provide the people of Rochdale with an exciting retail and leisure offer, strengthening our position in the heart of the town centre. Our freshly redeveloped entrance will be close to new surface level car parking and the transport interchange, meaning it will be an attractive and convenient destination for the wider community.”
The lift which is currently used to access the Wheatsheaf from Baillie Street will stay in use throughout the works.