Middleton mill to become a £50m global trade hub
Plans have been approved for the £50m redevelopment of a Greater Manchester mill , which has stood empty for several years.
LED Emporium, part of the Hong Kong-based property development group, G-Suite Holdings, submitted a planning application to Rochdale Council for the project, which would renovate and convert the Grade II listed Warwick Mill in Middleton.
The scheme to transform the five-storey 200,000 sq ft mill into a global trade hub with restaurants and cafes could start as early as January 2016.
Rochdale council has approved plans for the site after working with G Suite Holdings, to help secure the investment deal.
The redevelopment of the imposing structure, which has been largely empty for many years, could create more than 200 new jobs and is a further boost for the borough after the recent £18.5m investment by Standard Life Investments on Kingsway Business Park, and confirmation that Next and M&S will anchor Rochdale’s new Town Centre East shopping development.
The plans will see developers convert the red brick mill, built in 1907, into a facility where Chinese companies, as well as those from emerging markets in Asia, can exhibit and sell their goods in the UK and European markets.
The development will be known as Red Warwick and will also be open to the public.
Red Warwick is also expected to benefit home grown businesses, with G Suite keen to use the development to help local companies exploit emerging markets in Asia.
The plans also include the demolition of the 1960s office building, London House, which adjoins the site. The developers are hoping to flatten the building in January to create a car park for Red Warwick.
G Suite is expecting the whole scheme to be operational by early 2017.
Richard Farnell, leader of Rochdale Council, said: “Securing a £50m investment for this important site really confirms the growing confidence investors have in our borough. The council has worked extremely hard to get to this stage and I am grateful for the faith that G Suite is showing in our borough.
“This is a game changer for Middleton and the wider borough because as well as restoring a historic landmark building and creating jobs for our local residents, it will bring companies from around the globe to Greater Manchester. It’s clear that the potential benefits of this scheme are far reaching.”
A recent launch of Red Warwick in China proved a big success, with 19 companies, including small to medium businesses as well as a big name global brand, already signed up to the development.
The announcement comes on the back of President Xi Jingping’s trip to Manchester in October, which was aimed at cementing the trade relationship between the UK and China.
It’s also the second major investment from a Hong Kong based company in Greater Manchester, with Cathay Pacific launching a direct flight route from Manchester to Hong Kong 12 months ago this week.
The Planning Consultants advising on the scheme are JLL.
G-Suite director Robert Wong said: “I am extremely excited with today’s announcement that planning consent has been given.
“This means we can commence the renovation of the Grade II-listed former textile mill into a landmark the people of Middleton and the surrounding areas will be proud of.