The 19,400 sq ft former Santander building and its surrounding area is being renovated by local firm H Bells & Sons, with an estimated completion date of March 2018.
Work will transform the three-storey property into an indoor retail and food market, with the addition of outdoor stalls located next to the re-opened River Roch. A major part of the renovation will include the creation of an atrium which will allow visitors access to the café, set to be situated on the first floor, to see the stalls below.
Lifts will also be installed in the 1920s building, and a roof replacement and extensive work to the outside of the building is underway before an internal fit-out begins.
Cllr Richard Farnell, leader of Rochdale Council, said: “We are now looking at improved proposals for our indoor offer to make best use of the old Santander building as part of our fantastic new market.
“Rochdale has held a market charter since the 1200s, and it will be great to see our historic market tradition returning in style in one of the town centre’s many heritage buildings, in the heart of the conservation area.”
The application was submitted in October 2016, three years after Rochdale Council took over running the market to save it from closure where it was based was sold. The market was moved to Smith Street next to the town centre Metrolink in 2015 but recently moved to Lower Yorkshire Street and Lord Square. This was to allow site investigation works for Smith Street’s Riverside shopping and leisure development to take place.
H Bells & Sons is using all 30 of its staff alongside an additional foreman and labourer to help with the project and development consultant Quarterbridge has been selected to operate the market.