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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

A Bright Future for Hyde

Friday, 18 October 2019

In Tameside we’re always looking for opportunities to access new sources of funding and investment for our borough.

At the beginning of September, we beat 24 other local authorities to win £100,000 from the British Property Federation’s Futures Challenge, part of the national One Public Estate programme, to create a master plan for reviving Hyde town centre and provide a base from which to move forward in securing further investment. We got the ball rolling as a group of future leaders and bright young minds, including representatives from Tameside, travelled to London to craft proposals to answer the challenge. These were assessed by a judging panel comprised of our own council’s Chief Executive and a number of experts in property and investment. I also had the privilege of attending the event as a “Place Expert” to provide local knowledge about Hyde and the aspirations of its councillors and residents.  

As would be expected, all of the proposals built on the many strengths of Hyde as a place. These include its substantial road links to the outside world, such as direct entrances and exits to the M60 ring road and the national motorway network via the M67. Public transport connections are strong as well; with Hyde Central Railway station’s regular connections to Manchester Piccadilly and the second busiest bus interchange in Tameside. Since 2016 there has also been a significant increase in housing construction in and around the town centre.

The proposals also addressed a number of areas where we can improve what Hyde currently offers to residents, taking into account the fact that the way people live, work and buy has changed significantly due to factors like the explosion in online shopping. The vehicles for this transformation will be the historic market ground, and our local government and NHS buildings. These will be the anchors for the development of a broad range of leisure, service, employment and retail offers to attract and retain residents and visitors alike. This will be reinforced by renovating Hyde’s current layout of streets, creating gateways into the town and encouraging the growth of new businesses.

Our vision for Hyde is clear. We want a sustainable, accessible and service-rich centre that stands up to anything else you’d find in a similar-sized town in the UK. Not just a high street, but a heart of the community in the truest sense, serving our existing residents and the 6,000 new people we expect to move to the town in the future. The quality of the proposals we saw to turn this vision into a reality, and the expertise and effort that went into creating them, has been nothing short of astonishing. I know for a fact that the judges had a hard time picking between the three shortlisted entries. It might sound like a cliché, but as far as I’m concerned they were all winners.

That being said, I believe that the winning bid, presented by the “Reynold Street” team, provides the strongest foundations to transform Hyde into a town fit for the 21st century. I was particularly impressed by their ideas for combining services to save money and improve delivery, and their innovative use of technology such as online apps to help people find what they need in the town centre. The next step will be to talk to residents and community groups, including the Neighbourhood Forum, Hyde Town team and the Bangladeshi Welfare Association to find out what they think of the plan and what parts of it matters the most to them. When it comes down to it, Hyde does not belong to any of us, it belongs to its residents.  The most comprehensive and ambitious transformations are achieved when the views of those who live in and understand the area are sought and taken into consideration. Consultation is not only the best thing to do; it’s the right thing to do as well.

My thanks go out to everybody whose experience, creativity and hard work has driven this process so far. I believe in the incredible potential of Hyde, so let’s take the next step in securing a bright future for the town.

 

Posted by: Executive Leader


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