Rochdale Town Hall External Shot
Rochdale Town Hall first opened in 1871

Funding boost paves way for Rochdale town hall refurb 

Dan Whelan

A project to restore the grade one-listed building on The Esplanade will start in January after the council secured £8.3m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Rochdale Council has already granted planning permission for the project, which is expected to cost around £14m in total, and the council hopes to reopen the building to the public in 2023. 

The council intends to fund the remaining cost of the project.

Under the plans, parts of the 149-year-old town hall are to be restored, including the Magna Carta mural and ornate ceiling panels in the Great Hall.

Additionally, there will be a permanent exhibition space created in the committee rooms on the ground floor. 

The old library on the ground floor will house a community space called the Bright Hall to be used for small functions and by community groups. 

A heritage conservation skills studio will be set up in the basement to enable ongoing restoration works to take place once the project is complete.  

The area around the town hall will also be redeveloped through the creation of a public square that can be used for events. 

Rochdale Development Agency, the borough’s inward investment body, is delivering the project on behalf of Rochdale Council.

Consultants working on the town hall restoration include Donald Insall Associates, Max Fordham, Frank Whittle Partnership, Price & Myers, Focus Consultants, Redman Design, The Heritage Angel and Minerva Heritage, and Gillespies.

David Renwick, director at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Grand and impressive town halls like Rochdale’s are an iconic part of the North’s rich heritage. We know that investment in heritage can have a tremendously positive impact on local economies and the revamp of Rochdale Town Hall will provide a further boost to the ongoing regeneration of the borough.” 

Allen Brett, Rochdale Council leader, said: “Quite simply, the town hall is part of Rochdale’s DNA. This project means it will now also play as big a part in our future.”

The town hall project is part of the ongoing £400m regeneration of Rochdale town centre, which includes the completion of Rochdale Riverside, an £80m retail and leisure development. 

Contractor Willmott Dixon is due to start the second phase of the Riverside scheme, comprising 240 apartments, next year. 

 

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Nice. Famously Adolf Hitlers’ favourite building.

By Brian