Rochdale's new £60 million shopping and leisure centre is moving closer, with site investigations about to be completed ready for building to begin later in 2017. Workers carrying out the site investigations, which are now entering their final phase, are set to move onto the Rochdale market site in Smith Street in the next few weeks. 'Work to build the development due to start later in 2017' The official contractor for Rochdale Riverside, who will transform the site into an exciting new development of around 25 shops, including new Next and M&S stores, a Reel cinema and restaurants, is due to be formally appointed after the site investigation work is complete. The market will be temporarily relocated to the area around Lord Square and the bottom of the Yorkshire Street, which has recently been repaved and had new attractive planters and benches installed. The temporary market will close in its current site at the close of business Saturday, 16 September 2017 and re-open at its new location on Monday, 18 September 2017, so there will be no gap in trading. 'New market set to open in Easter 2018' A new permanent market, run by specialists Quarterbridge, is set to open on The Butts and in the former Santander building, alongside the re-opened River Roch, in Easter 2018. The timescale for the opening of the permanent market has been extended to allow the proposals to be improved. The council has carried out extensive survey work in the former Santander building and following discussion with Quarterbridge realised that the site has more potential than originally envisaged. Work to adapt and renovate the building will commence in the next few weeks. 'We are now looking at improved proposals for our permanent market' - council leader, Richard Farnell Councillor Richard Farnell, Leader of the council, said: "It's full speed ahead for our fantastic Rochdale Riverside development, the jewel in the crown of Rochdale town centre's £250 million regeneration programme. "The re-location of our temporary market means we can continue to have a market offer in the town centre while this important work takes place, which is really important to us. "Our new permanent town centre market, which will feature a greater variety of stalls, with a particular focus on fresh food, is very much in progress. We are now looking at improved proposals for our indoor offer to make best use of the old Santander building." A small number of parking spaces will also be out of use on the Milton Street West and East car parks, as well as the bottom of Penn Street, while the site investigations take place. The work, which will start on Monday, 4 September 2017 and last for around four weeks, will be done in phases to minimise disruption, with around 20 spaces set be out of use across the car parks at any given time. For information about markets across Rochdale, visit Markets.