The wraps have come off plans revealing the first stage of improvements to Droylsden shopping centre by owners New-Era Properties.
Planning was granted by Tameside Council in June for the Ombler Iwanowski Architects’ design and work has now started on a £100,000 refurbishment of units 1 and 1a which provide 4,000 sq ft of retail and food and beverage space onto Villemomble Square.
When complete, one of the units will be occupied by existing independent café bar ‘A Coffee Kitchen’ and the other is already under offer with another business.
The improvement works will include a full re-cladding of the facades of the units, the opening up of the frontages at both levels, to bring additional life to the square, and improvements to street lighting.
New-Era Properties acquired the shopping centre in 2018 and is looking to invest substantial sums across the site to improve the town centre over the next five years.
Patrick Franks, head of property at New-Era Properties, said: “The improvement work on these two units is the first stage in delivering on our plans to reinvigorate Droylsden town centre.
“Over the next few years we will be upgrading all of the buildings we own and working closely with our tenants, other stakeholders and the local authority to improve connectivity around the town centre.
“We are delighted to be able to start on delivering our vision to revive Droylsden town centre and make it a place which future generations will be proud to call their hometown.”
New-Era Properties has also embarked on a rebranding exercise for the shopping centre which started with more than 20 members of the local community, including councillors, Droylsden Town Team and retailers, taking part in a workshop to suggest what facilities the town needs and what it should look and feel like in the years to come.
Patrick added: “We are determined to consult with the community to ensure what we deliver for Droylsden is what the local people want and need.
“There was a lot of very positive feedback and we were delighted with the turnout and enthusiasm. It was clear just how proud people are of being from Droylsden and how close knit this community is at its heart. We’re planning to restore that pride and create a town centre where people will enjoy coming to eat, shop, work and live.”
Droylsden East councillor, Susan Quinn, said: “It looks very positive. New-Era Properties have taken over the shopping centre and they’ve got promising plans. We held a workshop to keep us in the picture with regards to the empty units. Businesses are interested, which shows Droylsden is on the up.”
Work on the first phase has now started and is due to be completed this Autumn.