Local economic recovery planning in Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council

The impact of the pandemic and lockdowns has deepened inequalities and reinforced the need to build a better future for Oldham residents, not a return to pre-covid outcomes.


Aerial view of Oldham Borough countryside and houses

Oldham have used the experience of the pandemic to take a step back to examine its core purpose. The council has established a vision around:

  • building an inclusive economy that benefits everyone
  • supporting thriving communities where people have the power and resources to be healthy, happy and make positive choices
  • delivering co-operative services that work with our communities

The impact of the pandemic and lockdowns has deepened inequalities and reinforced the need to build a better future for Oldham residents, not a return to pre-covid outcomes.

The resetting and recovery phases of Oldham’s developing plan (to be published in the summer) centres around 6 pillars of work:

  • Driving equality
  • Investing in improving the quality of housing and new and affordable homes
  • Championing a green recovery
  • Creating and protecting jobs and supporting business
  • Prioritising education and skills
  • Promoting health and wellbeing and protecting the most vulnerable

Capital investment plans are ambitious, framed by the Creating a Better Place strategy. This strategy of investment is seen as more important than ever in responding to the challenges of recovery. Significant investments have been made, for example the acquisition of Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre – not driven by commercial revenue generation for the council, but as an important catalyst to enable regeneration, service integration and develop a thriving town centre offer that incorporates quality living, work and leisure opportunities. This vision, in turn, unlocks brownfield land for development, including much-needed new homes and proposals for an urban park.

The experience of the pandemic has pushed partnership working to the next level, across public services and with the voluntary sector. There is a visible system leadership across Oldham and further exploration of pooled budgets to enable deeper integration across the public sector.