Hammerson will hold a day of entertainment and celebration to mark the opening of the £350m retail scheme in Bury town centre this Friday.
The 620,000 sq ft centre will open to the sound of the Japanese Dojo drum, marking the start of the Bury Beat Parade, where 180 local children will parade through The Rock's Central Street, carrying flags adorned with artwork created by the children, representing what Bury means to them.
There will also be a world record air guitar attempt with up to 2,500 'musicians' taking part. A judge from Guinness World Records will be at The Rock to authenticate and record the attempt. The current record stands at 1,844 people.
David Laycock, centre director for The Rock, added: "A great deal of work has gone in to creating The Rock and we are proud of what we have been able to achieve for Bury. We can't wait to open on 16 July and get the public's reaction to the scheme – after all The Rock has been created for the people of Bury and the surrounding towns to enjoy.
"Alongside our own schedule of events for the day, retailers and our leisure operators are also getting ready for the launch with a host of offers for shoppers to enjoy, so no doubt there will be something for everyone to enjoy. All eyes will be on Bury on the 16 July, so we want to make it a day to remember."
The Rock is anchored by Debenhams and Marks & Spencer alongside Next, Peacocks, Primark, H&M, Cult, River Island and Oasis. A Vue cinema and AMF Bowling anchor the leisure content, with restaurant operators Pizza Express, Frankie & Benny's and Nando's.
The marketing campaign for the launch included placing 2,500 artificial rocks around the streets of the Bury, Bolton, Rochdale and Rawtenstall. Each rock contains a unique code, which when entered on Facebook will reveal the finder's winnings. A range of prizes are up for grabs from shopping vouchers, coffees and leisure experiences, to higher value prizes, donated by some of The Rock's flagship stores.
The Rock was designed by BDP and constructed by Laing O'Rourke. The centre is owned by Halifax Bank of Scotland. Hammerson replaced Thornfield Properties in January after HBOS put subsidiary Thornfield Ventures into administration. Agents are CBRE and GCW. DTZ is the centre's managing agent.
Hammerson's itinerary for the launch day
10.00am GATES OPEN
10.00-10.15am REBORN – THE CALL
Spine-tingling and unique Taiko performance will sound across the scheme to call the people to The ROCK
10.15 – 10.55am BURY BEAT PARADE
Parade of proud communities and effervescent carnival music and celebration
10.55 – 11.00am REBORN – FINALE
Reprise of Taiko and countdown to Doors Open
11.00am RETAILERS OPEN
The public get the first look inside the new high street line-up – shops will be open all day
11.00am-20.00pm ACCESS ALL AREAS
Evocative and enthralling ambient entertainers connecting retailers throughout the day
13.00 – 18.30pm MAIN STAGE FEATURES
A variety of musical performances and urban fashion dancers including the climax of Taikoall will perform at intervals throughout the afternoon.
4.15 – 4.55pm BURY BEAT PARADE
Repeat of the Parade but with a twist and the end!
18.30pm FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK
Bury welcomes the World with Music – a totally unique Launch Day event – A WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT!!
19.00-20.00pm ROCK XTRA! – (Dig the NEW Breed)
The Gala Performance from Bury's Battle of The Bands Winning Musicians –