Oldham Council reveals plans for multi-million pound environmental centre

Oldham Council has revealed plans for a new multi-million pound environmental centre.

The council said the Alexandra Park Eco Centre, to replace the existing depot currently on site, will have low running costs and with the aim to be carbon neutral.

The application for the centre will be submitted next week and, if approved, work could begin later this year, the council said.

Proposals include vehicle charging points, solar panels and a filtration system to allow water to be collected for use at the facility and other sites across Oldham.

Councillor Sean Fielding, leader of Oldham Council, said: “These proposals for the new centre are unique and ambitious in terms of their scale, use of technology and environmental impact.

“We’d be building a new purpose-built facility that would meet the needs of our services and continue to provide employment and enhanced training opportunities. We’re also looking for the centre to have low running costs, which is another big bonus.

“In Oldham we are working to build an inclusive economy, thriving communities and a growing workforce and to support these aims we must have the right infrastructure and facilities in place.”

If approved, the centre would be an anchor development for the council’s Northern Roots Project, which aims to transform 160 acres of under-used green space at Snipe Clough into the UK’s largest urban farm and eco-park.

The Council said: “It will be developed for and with local communities, in a way that creates jobs, skills and business opportunities for local people, while preserving and enhancing the biodiversity and environmental value of the site.

“The initiative builds on the work Oldham Council has done over the last six years around community involvement in green projects, including horticulture skills and training, renewable energy and building the local food economy.”

The announcement coincided with a site visit from Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, who said the development has the potential to “transform the way we think about urban green space”.

“The benefits of this approach are wide-ranging, from creating new opportunities for recreation, education, enterprise and employment, to increasing urban biodiversity and promoting public health and wellbeing.”

He added: “In our Five-Year Environment Plan we’ve set out our ambition to tackle the effects of climate change and make our city-region carbon-neutral by 2038.

“A vital part of this will be looking at how we can regenerate urban green spaces and put them at the heart of our communities – becoming viable, sustainable resources that bring people together and enhance our quality of life.”

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