Oldham Town Deal Board elects New Chair and Vice Chair

A NEW Chair and Vice Chair has been elected by Oldham Town Deal Board.

William Lees-Jones, Managing Director of JW Lees, is Chair and Maggie Hughes, owner of Zutti Co is Vice Chair.

The pair were appointed at a meeting of the Board on Friday. The Board, made up of representatives from across the public and private sector, is driving forward Oldham’s successful £24.4m bid to the government’s Towns Fund.

William, who runs the sixth-generation family brewery on the Oldham/Middleton border, said: “It’s a privilege to become Chair of Oldham Town Deal Board and play a part in transforming the town.

L-R: Harry Catherall (Oldham Council Chief Executive), Maggie Hughes (Vice Chair of Oldham Town Deal Board), Cllr Arooj Shah (Leader of the Council), William Lees-Jones (Chair of Oldham Town Deal Board)

“Oldham has a very clear vision for where it is going, and there are four exciting projects for the board to bring to life. I look forward to working with the community and partners to make these plans a reality.”

Maggie, who has run independent clothing store Zutti Co on Yorkshire Street since 1980, added: “Oldham is where Zutti’s roots are, and I’m delighted to take up the role of Vice Chair.

“After a very difficult two years, this is an opportunity to help my hometown to recover from the pandemic, boosting the local economy and making a real difference to people’s lives.”

Oldham was awarded a £24.4m Town Deal in June 2021. The investment will help us to accelerate the delivery of four projects – all of which put green recovery and clean growth at the heart of town centre regeneration.

The projects are:

  • Northern Roots: creating the UK’s largest urban farm and country park, providing 160 acres of high-quality greenspace for community use.
  • Relocating Tommyfield Market: Supporting the relocation of the market into a new, purpose-built facility in Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre.
  • Flexible Workspace: Creating a new co-working space for entrepreneurs in the redeveloped Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre.
  • New theatre: Re-developing the Old Post Office and former Quaker Meeting House at 84 Union Street to create a new home for Oldham Coliseum and expand the existing performing arts offer in Oldham.

The Town Deal Board will now develop a detailed business case for the projects, which will be submitted to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in summer 2022.

Cllr Arooj Shah, Oldham Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic and Social Reform, said: “We’re so pleased to welcome William and Maggie to the board. They know and love Oldham and share our drive for achieving the best possible deal for our town, its residents and businesses.

“I want to thank everyone who has helped us to get to this point and look forward to progressing our plans to this next important milestone.”

For more information visit www.oldham.gov.uk/towndeal

One Reply to “Oldham Town Deal Board elects New Chair and Vice Chair”

  1. Makes a change to have people who actually run businesses on board rather than local politicians who have not run so much as a whelk stall and hence make business decisions no-one in the private sector would remotely consider (Jim McMahon for example who really had the brown touch as far as business decisions for Oldham was concerned).

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