RBS Building Rochdale
Rochdale's former RBS building is being transformed into a Hogarths pub

Historic Rochdale building to get £1m pub makeover

Dan Whelan

Pub operator Amber Taverns has bought the 5,850 sq ft, grade two-listed, former RBS bank in Rochdale town centre and begun work to transform it into a Hogarths pub.

Having acquired the building from RBS last December, Amber Taverns has pledged to invest £1m into the project, which is set to complete in April. Work on the rain-damaged top floor has already begun.

Original features like ceilings and covings will be retained and enhanced while the bank’s vaults are set to be turned into private seating areas. In addition to this the group plans to create a large beer garden.

The redevelopment is part of Historic England’s UK-wide Heritage Action Zone initiative, which, according to the heritage body, aims to “transform a failing, retail-dominated street into a vibrant area of mixed-use development that acknowledges and celebrates heritage”.

The building was once used as a house by the Rawson family from 1819, who conducted their banking business from the small adjoining building at the bottom of the Butts ginnel in central Rochdale.

It was rebuilt in 1879 and redesigned in 1913 to create the distinctive frontage it has today.

Sam Frankland, property director at Amber Taverns, said: “This is a first-class building in a great location, so we were very keen to get our hands on it.

“We were attracted to Rochdale because of all the investment going on with the new shopping and leisure development. The night-time economy is also really building up in this area and the council clearly understands the importance of that.”

Cllr Allen Brett, leader of Rochdale Council, said: “It’s great to see a company investing so heavily in such a historically important building, which has stood proud in Rochdale town centre for over 200 years.

“The fact that Amber Taverns has made such a commitment to the town shows how much special Rochdale is and how much it has to offer to investors.”

There are eight Hogarths pubs in the UK including two in the North West in Bolton and Preston.


Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

Nice to hear of pubs coming back to the area!

By L

Great news for Rochdale x

By Julie

Whenever an iconic building becomes vacant, what do the council decide to do with it?…..Yes, let’s turn it into a pub! As if there isn’t enough pubs in the town centre. A good way to tackle alcohol abuse, let’s open more pubs! The town centre is crying out for an entertainment complex. It would have made an excellent theatre or a ballroom, not everyone wants to get pie-eyed to enjoy a night out, there are people who are teetotal as well, so what about something for those who want to stay on the wagon..

By David Wild

About time we a decent pub in rochdale that do nice food a wide choice off beers cant wait to see what they do with it

By Graham butterworth

I can’t understand the comments about, “it’s about time we had a decent pub with decent food” when we have the likes of the Flying Horse, The Medicine Tap, The Baum and a host of other variants. Our existing pubs surpass anything in the other close by areas, they’re locally owned and run by some fantastic people.

By Kerry H

David Wild –

For the most part, Councils don’t unilaterally decide to ‘do’ anything with privately-owned buildings, they just decide whether their owners can do so or not, and they have limited grounds on which they can refuse. Councils aren’t generally in the business of opening ballrooms, if a private operator thought an ‘entertainment complex’ was financially viable then they’d be in there. Why don’t you open a theater if you think it’s such an obvious idea?

I do often wonder why people with so little understanding of how the built environment is managed bother to visit this website.

By Sten