A proposal for a new Mayoral Development Zone (MDZ) named ‘Atom Valley’ has been submitted to Manchester’s combined authority, in hopes to transform the northeast, making it the ‘engine room’ of the next ‘industrial revolution’.
A MDZ means that an area will receive support from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority in establishing frameworks and securing development funding. The latest area happens to be the north east towns areas of Bury, Rochdale and Oldham, and will be called ‘Atom Valley’.
The selected areas have long been apart of plans to boost prosperity in the north east and shape part of the region’s Places for Everyone (PfE) strategy. PfE, which is currently waiting on government approval, is a long-term plan of nine Greater Manchester districts which aims to fold in more jobs, homes, and overall sustainable growth to the selected areas.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has said, “Atom Valley will be right at the heart of this vision, delivering the world-class infrastructure, the high-quality jobs, and the investment opportunities needed to make this the engine room of Greater Manchester’s next industrial revolution.”
It is estimated that Atom Valley will provide 20,000 new jobs alongside 7,000 new homes and 1,600,000 square meters of employment space. By incorporating this economic growth, the overall regions will gain national competitiveness by attracting world-class businesses and high-quality jobs in advanced manufacturing, materials, and machinery.
Other than competing nationally, the scheme plans to rebalance the regions by providing diverse careers, implementing first-class infrastructure and quality homes in Bury and Rochdale. It also looks to reintroduce transportation links, which will overall add to the north’s plans of interconnectivity.
Council leader Neil Emmott has commented on the economic boost the site will provide and the impact on transportation links, saying, “The increased employment opportunities are going to open many, many more opportunities to improve transport links… That will be getting the train link back into Heywood– regular passenger trains for the first since 1969 and also bringing Metrolink into Middleton.”
Lastly, to keep up with ongoing proposals of national decarbonisation, Atom Valley will see that the North West becomes more carbon neutral through sustainable development, green technology and the growth of new industry sectors that focus on decarbonisation and net-zero alternatives.