A raft of projects across Tameside are set to make major steps forward in 2022.
Despite the challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic, various plans for the borough have continued apace.
These include the potential redevelopment of the former Ashton interchange site which could see hundreds of homes built in the town.
Improvements to education facilities, cycling infrastructure and changes to key buildings in Stalybridge such as the Civic Hall and former police station are also in the pipeline.
Council chiefs say that dozens of new homes are planned for the Lock Keepers development site at Droylsden Marina.
After the demolition of the former library building, which bosses agreed to knock down last year, the entire plot of land will be sold as a single development opportunity.
The authority has won £19.87m funding from the government’s national Levelling Up fund for works in Ashton-under-Lyne.
This cash is partly proposed to support the construction of 470 new homes, 8,750 sq m of commercial spaces, a new health and wellbeing hub, and 8,500 sq m of retained retail space in the town.
It will see the redevelopment of the former bus interchange site to make it an ‘attractive location’ for potential private sector investment, including a mix of new homes and retail, leisure and commercial space.
There will also be improvements to the walking and cycling infrastructure in Ashton, and a refurb of the market square funded by the levelling up cash, and support for the restoration of Ashton Town Hall.
Essential repairs to the roof are due to be carried out, followed by a full restoration scheme with further internal repairs to follow, subject to additional funding.
These programmes will be delivered this year, with the specifics for each to be confirmed by the end of March.
The council is undertaking work to expand the borough’s specialist educational facilities for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
This will see a new building constructed at Hawthorns School in Audenshaw, to the tune of £13 million.
Chiefs say that design work is ongoing and a planning application is expected this spring.
Hawthorns School is a primary age special school currently located on Lumb Lane in Audenshaw, which caters for pupils with a range of ‘complex’ special educational needs.
It will include 26 classrooms along with spaces for life skills, cookery, ICT and a range of spaces for specialist support.
It will also include a dedicated area for parents and facilities for the school to train teachers from mainstream and other schools on supporting children with special needs.
Bosses want to open the new building, which will accommodate 220 places, by September 2023.
Separately a major extension to Aldwyn Primary School in Audenshaw is due to be completed this year.
This will see three new classrooms and two specialist teaching rooms created, along with toilets and other areas.
Bosses say that work is ongoing and ‘progressing well’ and when it is completed by this Easter pupils will be able to vacate the three temporary mobile classrooms they are currently being taught in.
Additionally a grant of more than £258k has been made to enable All Saints Catholic College to accommodate additional school places and remodel two classrooms into a fitness studio and dance studio to support the additional places.
A grant of £23k has been earmarked for The Epworth Education Trust to refurbish an external play area at Rosehill Primary Academy, allowing children to have dedicated access to a suitable play area.
It will provide ten additional resourced pupil places for at least ten years.
A number of popular cycling routes and their associated infrastructure are to be upgraded across Tameside in 2022.
The Tame Valley Loop – a signed 17 mile mountain loop around Stalybridge and Mossley – will be made suitable for use by walkers and horse riders.
A ‘quiet streets’ route will be created on Hill Street in Ashton-under-Lyne to provide a safe cycle alternative to the use of Park
Parade and Chester Square.
This will also include an improved crossing point for Stockport Road for pedestrians and cyclists.
A ‘mostly’ traffic free route will be created through the Chadwick Dam site to provide links to Tameside Hospital and to residential areas, and it will include an improved crossing point on Mossley Road.
Early in the new year a consultation on ‘active travel’ schemes on Stockport Road in Ashton, Stockport Road in Hyde, Guide Lane in Audenshaw, and Oldham Road and Newman Street in Ashton.
An accessibility study is also being undertaken this year to look at improving at a number of existing traffic filters to allow walkers and cyclists to pass but stopping vehicles.
Meanwhile work to rebuild Hattersley train station ticket office is to start in January in a move to provide a ‘modern and comfortable’ location for rail passengers.
Changes afoot in Stalybridge
There are a number of changes in the town of Stalybridge that will begin or conclude this year.
The former Stalybridge police station on Waterloo Road is planned to be demolished by April and replaced soon after by 24 apartments.
Meanwhile the council says that work continues on the High Street Heritage Action zone which is designed to regenerate the town centre and restore its historic character.
Key projects for 2022 include the replacement of the Civic Hall roof, the heritage walk project to create improvements to the street scene and walking routes along Market Street.
The Stalybridge Cultural Consortium are developing their programme and aiming to start work on the wider cultural activities early this year.