| Phase One of the Rochdale Riverside forms part of a £250m regeneration of the town centre.|
It will have 200,000 sq ft of retail and leisure floor space for 24 shops, including a new Marks & Spencer anchor store, with Reel Cinemas operating the cinema.
Rochdale Riverside is being delivered jointly by Genr8 Developments and Kajima in partnership with Rochdale Borough Council. It is forecast to grow the local economy by more than £17m and create around 1,000 jobs.
Gary Davies, of the Rochdale Development Agency, said the approval showed Rochdale was bucking the national trend of town centre decline.
“This decision is part of a wider regeneration which also includes the way the council has encouraged new retail outlets with discounted business rates – at present 17 out of 20 retail units are occupied in the town centre,” he said.
Mike Smith, Partner at Genr8 Developments, said: “We recognise that this scheme will play a significant role in the regeneration of Rochdale and it is therefore imperative that we attract the right mix of occupiers to boost the local economy and establish Rochdale as a key leisure and retail destination.”
Phase one, which now has detailed planning, will also include a six-screen cinema operated by Reel Cinemas.
Councillors also approved outline plans for phase two of the development, which will see extra commercial and office space, 100 flats and a hotel.
The application will now be referred to the Communities Secretary due to the large scale size of the project. If not called in work could start on the site in Smith Street in the autumn.
The professional team includes architect T P Bennett, structural consultant Curtains and M&E consultants Hannans.