Atom Valley, which could see the creation of 17m sq ft of employment space and 20,000 jobs has been endorsed by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
Representatives of the 10 GM boroughs met last Friday to approve the creation of a mayoral development zone for Atom Valley, a chunk of land stretching along the M62 growth corridor into the boroughs of Rochdale and Bury.
The ambition at Atom Valley is to create a hub for innovation in advanced materials, manufacturing, and green technologies, with world-leading facilities and opportunities for local residents to access good jobs, training, and skills, according to the GMCA.
Atom Valley encompasses three key employment sites: Northern Gateway, Stakehill and Kingsway Business Park.
The latter already features plans for an Advanced Machinery and Productivity Institute.
It is hoped the creation of an MDZ will provide a platform for the public and private sectors to work together to unlock investment and create up to 20,000 jobs.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said:
“[Friday’s] decision is a green light for our plans to transform the economy of our city-region and rebalance the scales of growth and opportunity,” said
“Atom Valley will offer world-class facilities for research and innovation, powering the skills and jobs needed to drive a new industrial revolution in advanced manufacturing and green technologies.”
As well as creating jobs, Burnham also said that Atom Valley will be the “catalyst for revitalising town centres in the north east of the city region”.
Bury, Rochdale, Oldham, Middleton, Heywood, Radcliffe and Prestwich are all poised to benefit from the creation of the MDZ through improved transport links, including the extension of the Metrolink network into Middleton town centre.
Following Friday’s approval, an MDZ board will now be created to coordinate the project. The board is to be chaired by economist Paul Ormerod, with representatives from local and national authorities, central government, and the private sector.