Strategic Investment Framework Context
The vision, objectives and priorities within the SIF have been informed by a robust evidence base. A comprehensive review has been undertaken of the economic context within Oldham and Greater Manchester, highlighting that the borough has a number of assets and strengths to build on, while also needing to address a range of longstanding weaknesses within the local economy.
The economic review has shown that Oldham has failed to benefit fully from growth at the Greater Manchester level. As well as the local consequences of this unequal performance, the lower levels of growth in Oldham, and in other northern parts of the City Region, present a potential ‘drag effect’ on Greater Manchester. There are as such clear priorities in terms of enabling Oldham to contribute positively to the sustainable growth of Greater Manchester and for its residents in turn to be able to access and benefit from the resulting opportunities.
- Alongside physical regeneration of the place, there is a requirement to invest in people, equipping them with the necessary skills and training to progress and develop. Employment support will need to include help to those who have identified health-related barriers to employment.
- There is also a continuing need to maximise local job opportunities, providing accessible employment that will help bring people back into work.
- Addressing the ‘enterprise gap’ in Oldham will be a key challenge, requiring the development of a more balanced economy with greater levels of investment and business support.
- The Town centre is a key asset for Oldham, but the increasing pressure on town centres to re-define their role and function (including the introduction of more Town Centre living) will need to be addressed as part of ensuring its long-term and sustained regeneration.
- Population growth has been identified as a principal driver of economic growth for Greater Manchester, with Oldham having the ability to play a key role through the diversification and improvement of its housing offer.