Why 2020 promises so much for Rochdale
Rochdale has enjoyed an amazing 2019 but the next 12 months promise to be even more exciting.
We have the opening of Rochdale’s £80m Riverside retail and leisure development and the arrival of Dippy the Diplodocus to look forward to. Rochdale has been selected as one of just eight venues which will host the dinosaur during his tour.
With this in mind Rochdale Development Agency’s fifth monthly roundtable, held at Cleland McIver in Littleborough, asked businesses what they wanted to see in 2020.
Tahir Mahmood, director of engineering at tech start-up Prevayl and a Rochdale resident, said: “I believe there’s magic water in Rochdale. I would like to see us help raise the profile of some of the younger people. I’m absolutely certain we have some superstars we don’t know about. If we want to raise the profile o f what Rochdale is about and this magic water, let’s find these superstars. I’ll do whatever it takes to get these people to the global platform.”
Samira Ansari, managing director of Seeros Daycare Nursery, said: “I think it’s important to see and recognise businesses that are advancing throughout Rochdale and also celebrate the achievements of businesses within Rochdale. For me personally I’d like to be able to empower more ethnic minorities, especially women. I’m proud to be Asian and I’m proud to be ethnic. I’d like to celebrate that within Rochdale. It’s a mixed community.”
Darren Grice, deputy chief executive of Link4Life, said: “In February 2020 Rochdale is welcoming Dippy on tour which will help attract 200,000+ visitors into the borough. We’re are the only place in the North West to host the tour. Culture and events have a massive opportunity to change the narrative about a place. How can we use Dippy to make it a cultural year for Rochdale to completely change what people’s view of Rochdale is?”
Derek Dixon, managing director of click24.co.uk, said: “I think we need to continue to build on the positives and wash out the negatives. There’s so much going on. There are probably hundreds of businesses who would probably commit (to getting involved). Maybe they just need a nudge and we can get them round the table as well.”
Frances Fielding, sales and marketing manager of Rochdale AFC, said: “When we played Manchester United in the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford the eyes of the world were on Rochdale. We had people contacting us from all over the world. Football can do that. My two wishes for 2020 are that the football club can attract more women, children and younger generations to watch and obviously promotion to the Championship.”
Richard McIver, director of Cleland McIver said: “We as a business have got to promote what we’re going to have rather than what we’ve had in the past and what we’ve got at the moment. As one of the business leaders we can discuss that differently to all our staff in the company. We can give a much more positive approach on Rochdale, the borough, the environment and drive that through our own voice to create a bigger voice in the community.”
Dr Paul Jones, developer, Capital & Centric, said: “I want to see Rochdale to continue the positive momentum about what’s going on in Rochdale in terms of the investment in the town centre and the surrounding areas. I’d keep promoting this and keep the awareness of what’s going on and keep spreading the word. That’s really, really important. It’s about the positive change. It’s not going to be easy but it’s already happening and it’s already happened. It’s also important to have the courage, confidence and convictions that you can continue with the events and increase the experiences of what you get in Rochdale.”
Brad Daniel, director of Greater Manchester Construction Training, said: “I would like to see more investment for training for local residents. To build the infrastructure we need the people to build it. At the moment we don’t have that within the borough. We’re bringing in everybody in from outside of Greater Manchester to build these structures for us. We should be doing it in the borough.”
Nick Green, commercial director of Hovington, said: “There’s a genuine depth of history, talent and positivity in the town which I think provides an excellent foundation for the future. Hovington are about to celebrate 40 years in business in Rochdale and there are many fantastic local businesses that need to get the message out there about the positivity and opportunities within Rochdale.”
Paul Adams, operations director of Cleland McIver, said: “We want to see a continuation of the investment that we are seeing now and that’s an investment in people and in buildings. We’d also like to see the continued support from the council that helps us to grow and bring in more staff. With regards to the town and the town centre, I think it’s on track. It’s definitely on the way up.”
- Also attending the roundtable were Carol Hopkins, of the Rochdale Development Agency, and host Chris Maguire
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Among the crowd at Saturday's Rochdale v Newcastle United match was Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, who took the opportunity to highlight the good work taking place in Rochdale.
Much has been written about Rochdale’s £80m Riverside retail and leisure development, which will be opened next year, but it’s only one very important piece of a bigger jigsaw.