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HRH The Duke of York visits Oldham with Mace

This November, HRH the Duke of York visited Oldham in  Greater Manchester to help promote an initiative for new businesses to establish themselves in the north of England.

The Open Future North enterprise, run by Wayra UK (part of the 02 Telefonica group) reached out to local entrepreneurs as part of a drive to help new businesses thrive in the Independent Quarter to create a new enterprise hub in the centre of Oldham.

Oldham Council are committed to providing more than £1m of investment to the project and Mace’s role is to manage the design and refurbishment of two former nightclub venues on Yorkshire Street in the town centre. The Mace team have been involved with Oldham Council on a delivery strategy for the Independent Quarter for 12 months and the refurbishment works on the two properties has recently secured additional funding.

Mace has played a significant role on the project management, commercial management and programme management of these investment projects and continue to support Oldham Council through its strategic delivery partner Unity Kier. Mace has demonstrated that providing a solid delivery service and going the extra mile leads to opportunities, which are unique to working in the construction industry.

HRH told a captive audience in the Town Hall complex that he could “see a new horizon for Oldham”, which will see the former industrial cotton trading giant re-define its former glory.

Mace’s Marcus Foster, Senior Project Manager said: “What a fantastic opportunity and who would really want to turn this one down? In all honesty the opportunity came because I was well prepared and well versed in the project. I was able to define a complex and political strategic delivery model to HRH in terms which were appropriate for a dignitary with his technical understanding.

The construction terminology was not a problem and I was impressed with the fact that Prince Andrew took the time to understand the story behind the project. I was able to answer all questions along with Labour MP Jim McMahon, Leader of Oldham Council Councillor, Jean Stretton and Director of Wayra UK, Gary Stewart.”

The Council and its partners are investing heavily in transport infrastructure and local amenities such as the recently completed £40m Town Hall Odeon cinema complex, a £26m project for two leisure centres and a £22m project for a state-of-the-art college campus.