3. Towns Fund FAQs

What is the Towns Fund?

The Towns Fund is a £3.6 billion scheme from the Government designed to deliver sustainable economic growth with a focus on urban regeneration, skills and culture, improved transport and better broadband connectivity.

In some areas, the Towns Fund will take on the additional purpose of supporting the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Towns Fund prospectus and further guidance can be viewed online at:

The Oldham Town Deal Board established in February 2020 was responsible for preparing a Town Investment Plan to request funding for projects in Oldham town centre.

How much money is available for projects in Oldham?

Oldham has been awarded £24.4 million to deliver four projects that are capable of transforming Oldham town centre and satisfying both the Towns Fund criteria and local ambitions for regeneration. 

The projects are:

  • Northern Roots: delivering key infrastructure and facilities such as a visitor centre for what will become the UK’s largest urban farm and eco-park
  • Making Space for Live Performance: transforming vacant heritage buildings in Oldham’s Cultural Quarter into a sustainable, modern venue for performing arts
  • Relocating Tommyfield Market: converting vacant retail units in Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre into a contemporary, permanent home for Oldham’s market traders
  • Flexible workspace: converting vacant retail units in Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre into flexible, Grade A quality offices for the private sector

The Oldham Town Deal Board included the projects in the bid based on their potential to drive sustainable economic growth, deliver excellent value for money and align with local and regional ambitions as expressed in strategic documents, including the Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy (2019) and Oldham Town Centre Vision (2019).

All funding allocated to Oldham will need to be contractually committed by March 2026. 

Approximately 90% of the funding awarded to Oldham is capital funding rather than revenue funding.

Which parts of Oldham are set to benefit from the Towns Fund?

All four projects approved for funding are located within the Town Deal delivery area published online at:

The delivery area covers most of Oldham town centre. It was specified by the Government and extended to include parts of the Alexandra ward at the request of the Oldham Town Deal Board.

What happens next?

The Oldham Town Deal Board voted unanimously to accept the grant offer on 28 June 2021 and is preparing to develop project business cases over the next twelve months.

How can local communities help to make the Towns Fund projects a success?

Now that the Oldham Town Deal Board has accepted the grant and project heads of terms, local communities will be invited to help develop the project business cases over the next twelve months. Further details will be announced in due course.

The Oldham Town Deal Board has created a community engagement sub-group to ensure that each project funded through the Towns Fund is:

  • Carried out with meaningful engagement with local people and key stakeholders in line with the Towns Fund guidance.
  • Carried out with an equality impact assessment on its plans and having had inequality intentionally designed out, as far as possible.

Starting from September 2020, the community engagement sub-group will work in partnership with the local Equality Advisory Group to ensure that the full range of protected characteristics and inequality due to poverty or other factors are considered.

Who can provide further information?

For further enquiries about the Towns Fund or Oldham Town Deal Board contact: