Residents invited to feedback on initial design ideas for proposed Visitor Centre & Learning Centre at Northern Roots.

Date published: 27 October 2021

Northern Roots has shared initial building designs for the proposed Visitor Centre and Learning Centre on the 160-acre Northern Roots site and invites residents across the borough to get involved and feedback. 

The building designs have been developed by architect Alison Thornton-Sykes, from award-winning JDDK Architects, with ideas and input from communities in Oldham.

During October Northern Roots invited local residents’, and young people from Oldham College and Mahdlo Youth Zone, to meet Alison and help design the proposed buildings.

Inspired by the ideas and feedback emerging from these community co-design sessions, Alison has gathered all the suggestions and created two initial design options for each building. 

Cllr Abdul Jabbar, Cabinet Member for Finance and Low Carbon, said: “It’s really exciting to see these initial designs, and residents and young people actively involved in creating the vision for them.

"These buildings will provide an exceptional community resource for Oldham, with sustainability at their core.”

Building on last weeks’ face to face community consultations, Northern Roots has shared the design ideas on their social platforms.

You can view the proposed building designs, vote for your favourite and leave comments on each option, on Northern Roots Twitter, Instagram and Facebook platforms. 

Your feedback will directly inform the next stage of the building design process. Architect Alison Thornton-Sykes will gather all your comments and present a new set of building design options in early November for further community consultation.

Alison Thornton-Sykes, JDDK Architects, said: "JDDK are delighted to share two exciting design options for each site responding to the brilliant ideas generated at consultation events earlier this month.

"We are really looking forward to hearing the community's thoughts on these design options, which will help shape the further designs of the Visitor Centre and Learning Centre."

The Northern Roots project will transform the 160-acre site at Snipe Clough, near Alexandra Park, into a destination for leisure, enterprise and learning.

Northern Roots unveiled the initial masterplan proposal for the site in August 2021, inviting residents across Oldham to meet the project team, get involved and share ideas and feedback. 

Residents have been able to explore the proposals online through an interactive map and find out more about the plans at in-person consultation events during September and October.

Northern Roots is currently gathering feedback and will use it to inform a revised proposal. The revised masterplan will be shared for further consultation in November 2021. 

The initial masterplan proposal is the result of three years of ongoing community consultation, and working with experts to develop an initial business model, enhance biodiversity and habitat on site, and explore the possibility of using green technologies, such as solar power.

At this stage in the consultation process, none of the proposals are fixed. Residents feedback is crucial and will help to shape the plans.

The first stage of consultation has now closed, but you can still view the interactive map, explore proposals and look at other people’s comments.

To find out more, visit


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