Rochdale publishes town centre vision

Rochdale Borough Council has unveiled a new central master plan that includes a new pedestrianised Town Hall Square, designed to be the largest public square in England, suitable for events and with a water feature.

There will also be a series of new buildings aimed at cultural uses between Hopwood Hall College and the Town Hall. The retail scheme at Town Centre East is due to start in 2012.

The master plan will go out to public consultation in October before a final decision is made.

The council will build a new main office for 2,000 staff on a two-acre riverside site and construction is due to start next summer with the building opening in autumn 2012.

As well as providing access to most council services in one place, the new building will include a public library and information centre and a training centre. It is also expected to include a mixed retail and commercial offer which could include bars, cafes and restaurants.

The council said it expects more than £50m savings to be made over 30 years through reduced maintenance costs at the new building, replacing 33 sites around the town.

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