Rochdale Town Hall, RDA, p planning docs

Plans for the £16m restoration of Rochdale Town Hall include new Porte Cochère balcony access. Credit: via planning documents

Next phase of £16m Rochdale Town Hall restoration unveiled

The latest proposals for the grade one-listed building at The Esplanade focus on the repair of the west wing, including the restoration of the council chamber.

The plans form the third phase of Rochdale Council’s restoration of its town hall. The first two phases included structural work and the creation of a Town Hall Square, which is almost completed.

Council-owned Rochdale Development Agency is delivering the project on behalf of the authority, with Donald Insall Associates providing lead consultant and conservation architect services.

Proposals feature public access to the Porte Cochère balcony, specialist repair and restoration of decorative interiors, and the installation of a lift and toilets.

Most significantly, the council chamber would be restored. The chamber’s stained glass windows and ceiling timbers would be repaired. Improvements would also be made on accessibility, with the introduction of wheelchair access.

A new audio-visual installation would also be provided to offer greater capacity for council meetings and public live streaming.

The multi-million-pound restoration of the Gothic building has been funded by The National Heritage Lottery Fund. Rochdale Council was awarded £8.9m in 2018 to develop the plans in more detail, with a further grant of £8.3m in 2020.

Rebecca Mills, associate director of Donald Insall Associates, said: “Phase three represents the final piece of work to Rochdale Town Hall.

“We are very pleased to see that Rochdale Borough Council are committed to completing the restoration of this magnificent grade one-listed building and that Donald Insall Associates are to remain involved with the project,” she continued.

“The works will include the conservation of two of the buildings most significant rooms; the council chamber and mayor’s parlour, and will also see the town hall fitted with new air source heat pumps as part of the council’s decarbonisation programme.”

Consultants working on the town hall project are Max Fordham, Frank Whittle Partnership, Price & Myers, Focus Consultants, Redman Design, The Heritage Angel, Minerva Heritage, and Gillespies.

To learn more about the plans, search for application number 23/00590/FUL on Rochdale Council’s planning portal.

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