Manchester looks to build its own Silicon Valley


Greater Manchester has ambitious new plans to create thousands of new jobs, huge employment space, and high-quality homes in a new development plan known as Atom Valley.

The valley will be located in Rochdale and Bury along the M62, covering large portions of both boroughs. Atom Valley will also include existing developments such as Kingsway Business Park, the Northern Gateway employment site, and other areas of South Heywood and Middleton town centres will also play key parts in the project.

The vision for the area is to create a bustling hub of employment and opportunity in the north of Greater Manchester, whilst improving the city by driving new industries that sit at the cutting edge of the UK economy.

Atom Valley will also be the largest growth area in Greater Manchester, designed to help and re-balance the region’s economy by bringing thousands of higher quality job opportunities to the borough of Rochdale and surrounding areas. All this growth will be supported by transport links such as a new tram to train link in Heywood, Metrolink extension to Middleton, and bus services linking Heywood with Manchester. Walking and cycle routes will also form a major part of the redevelopment in a bid to fall in line with Greater Manchester Council’s clean air targets.

Significance of an MDZ

The MDZ is a new approach for tackling the challenges that town centers such as Heywood and Middleton face and makes sure they are at the core of wider plans for Greater Manchester’s North East Growth Corridor. This corridor will deliver 10,000 new homes and over 1 million square meters of new commercial space. Another perk of an MDZ is the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) will work alongside the council to secure any additional funding needed for the scheme’s general development, such as the aforementioned improvements to transport links.

As the largest growth location in Greater Manchester, Atom Valley could see universities and companies come together, harnessing the shared technology. The council’s cabinet member for Economy and Communications John Blundell said Atom Valley is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a hub for advanced manufacturing in areas like Rochdale and Bury.


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