The Northern Agenda

Will George Galloway be Rochdale's next MP? | Dragging North's market towns into 2024

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Episode notes

In big cities like Manchester, Newcastle, Liverpool, and Leeds the last few years have seen huge amounts of regeneration, transforming them beyond recognition. 

But what about our region's larger satellite towns and smaller cities, many with a proud tradition and history that stretches back to before the Industrial Revolution? With town centres that went into decline in recent years, thanks in part to the rise of retail parks and online shopping - isn't it about time they were brought up to date to meet our changing demands?

St Helens, with a population of about 180,000 people between Liverpool and Manchester, is in many ways a typical Northern market town. It's in the next wave of areas bringing forward large-scale regeneration plans with town centre markets at the heart of it.

But our habits have changed rapidly in recent years so how will they make this new project fit for 2024 and beyond? Rob Parsons speaks to leading officials behind the plans.

Also, with the Rochdale by-election making headlines this week, Rob chats to Jo Timan of the Manchester Evening News about what locals make of it - and would firebrand George Galloway make a good MP?


The Northern Agenda is a Laudable production for Reach. It is presented by Rob Parsons, and produced by Daniel J. McLaughlin.

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