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Council tells M&S to honour “legally binding contract” for £80m redevelopment

Rochdale Borough Council has said it fully expects M&S to honour what the authority says is a legally binding contract to be the anchor tenant in a £80m regeneration scheme.

In November last year the retailer announced that it intended to pull out of the Rochdale Riverside retail and leisure development.

At a meeting last night [4 January] Rochdale’s Cabinet considered the future direction of the scheme in light of M&S’ announcement. Councillors vowed to press ahead with the project.

Cllr Allen Brett, Rochdale’s Leader, said: "As far as we're concerned, M&S have signed a legally binding contract to take space in the Rochdale Riverside development and we fully expect them to honour that commitment.

"We're not going to let this issue derail what will be a fantastic development for the people of our borough, bringing 24 shops, restaurants and a 6-screen cinema to the heart of Rochdale town centre. We will continue to work with our partner, Genr8, to deliver this game changing development for our residents and visitors."

Cllr John Blundell, cabinet member for regeneration, said: "We're gearing up to make a number of high profile announcements about the scheme in the next few weeks and more extensive ground investigations, needed to assess conditions before construction starts, will be getting under way next week. This is about a new and exciting future for Rochdale and we fully intend to deliver it."

M&S has been approached for comment.

In November a spokeswoman for the company told the Manchester Evening News that it did not believe that relocating its store was the right move and it had therefore informed the council that it longer intend to proceed.

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