A £7 million retail and leisure project to revitalise a prominent site in Glossop town centre has reached a major milestone this week.
The transformation of the Howard Town Mill is nearing completion, paving the way for Travelodge to open a 62-room hotel in the mill next week (August 13).
M & S is putting the finishing touches to the fitting out of a Simply Food store that will open in September.
Other tenants to follow later in the autumn will include pub chain Wetherspoons, which has signed up for 7,000 sq ft of space; and Domino’s Pizza, which has taken space in the site’s now-restored iconic gatehouse.
Before work started, High Peak Borough Council drew up an Employment and Skills Charter which committed the developers to advertising sub-contracts locally. As a result, seven local firms won sub-contracts which not only helped safeguard jobs but also led to numerous local people finding work.
Now, the council and partners are working with retailers coming onto the site to enable local people – especially the unemployed – to access new jobs. And the University of Derby has been delivering training in customer services from the local authority’s offices so that job seekers are better prepared for interviews.
Further training will take place in Glossop Municipal Buildings on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 25 and 26. To book a place, contact Jobcentre Plus.
The redevelopment package also includes the landscaping and reopening of a 140-space car park on adjoining land owned by the council. The car park improvements are also nearing completion.
Council leader Caitlin Bisknell said: “It’s been a long haul to bring the site back into use following the closure of the Bentwood’s factory more than a decade ago. This has been a long-term project that will boost Glossop’s economy and encourage retailers – both national and independent – to invest in the town.”
Godfrey Claff, executive councillor for regeneration, added: “It’s great news that our joint working with the developers has enabled this important leisure and retail scheme to succeed at no cost to the taxpayer. In testing economic conditions, this is truly a win-win outcome for Glossop”.
Meanwhile, the council is considering expressions of interest from developers bidding to transform the neighbouring eight-and-a-half acre Woods Mill site in what would be a multi-million pound scheme.