Drake Street Rochdale 2
Purcell has designed the restoration

Rochdale plots Drake Street makeover

Dan Whelan

The council has lodged plans to repair and restore the facades of 12 run-down properties on South Parade and Drake Street, an area between the town’s train station and the newly developed £80m Riverside retail and leisure complex. 

Traditional shopfronts will be reinstated and windows and roofs repaired under the plans designed by architect Purcell, which could eventually see the properties converted into homes. 

The project is part of the Rochdale Heritage Action Zone, which seeks to redevelop and restore key buildings in and around Drake Street, a historic retail area in need of regeneration.  

The Drake Street scheme will be funded through the Historic England Partnership Scheme in Conservation Areas programme, the council’s capital programme and contributions from property owners. 

Drake Street Rochdale

Drake Street is between Rochdale train station and the Riverside shopping centre

Other projects included within the heritage zone include the redevelopment of the Greater Manchester Fire Station Museum, the restoration of the Town Hall and proposals to convert the town’s Central Retail Park into housing. 

As well as the Riverside project, developed by the council, developer Genr8 Developments and Japanese investor Kajima, Rochdale announced plans to redevelop land around its five railway stations to create 7,000 homes, 2.5m sq ft of commercial space and an £11m cycle corridor to increase connectivity and boost the local economy. 

A statement from Rochdale Council said: “Heritage is an important part of what makes Rochdale a special place, so this is one of the focuses of our regeneration strategy.  

“It’s also part of borough’s overall growth strategy, which incorporates our plans for redevelopment around the railway stations, but also focuses on the reinvigoration of our town centres and other key sites around the borough.” 

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the planning department needs to buy into this, the process is painstakingly slow and the officers are set against development taking place making it as awkward as they possibly can.

By anon

This needs to be done and the renders look nice. That centre building had, I believe, won the award for uglist facade on the planet (in the “entire history” category). Whoever let that facade get built should be charged under crimes against urbanity.

By Anonymous

This looks excellent and is the benchmark for what Northern towns need to do to regenerate!

By Observer

Looks good. Small scale interventions like this are needed to knit the separate redevelopment schemes together.

By Bradford

Couldn’t agree more with the comments above! This will be a fantastic to the town centre and will hopefully provide the start to further restoration along Drake Street. Look forward to more Heritage Action Zones in the NW to help revitalise historic high streets.

By Rochdale

What’s the 7,000 new homes for to house the ever growing river of immigrants coming into the town

By Grant

I hope the property owners are making a significant contribution, who have no doubt just been siting on the property and waiting for something like this to happen.

By Steve

Grant – it would be great if some of these “immigrants” could replace people like you, then towns like Rochdale would become even better!

By Anonymous

Shop owners should be made to pay a substantial contribution, after all, they are the ones who allowed the properties to become run down and who stand to profit when they’re all revamped. Silk purse out of a sows ear springs to mind. Over the years the council has been responsible for fillling the immediatly surrounding social housing properties with none producers and benefit claimants. I suppose a chucking a few more bang in the town centre won’t hurt.

By Cynic

@Cynic, is it the shop owners who caused the dereliction of these buildings or the building owners? Many of the shops may just be renting. That said, someone did let them go and they should have maintained their buildings better.


would it be sensible for the council and taxpayers to get profit share proportional to their contribution if the owners sell later?

By anjeer