Rochdale eyes HLF backing for Town Hall

Rochdale Council is preparing its second attempt to secure a £14m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for improvements to the grade one-listed Town Hall, after its last bid was rejected at the end of 2015.

Residents are being asked for their views on the £16m proposals for a series of works on the Town Hall, with feedback being used to shape the HLF bid.

The improvements include:

  • Opening up parts of the building that are currently closed to the public
  • Creating a new ‘lesser hall’ for smaller functions and community events in what was originally the library
  • Converting the old police cells and fire station into a bar/restaurant, run as a co-operative or social enterprise
  • Restoring the Great Hall, including the Magna Carta mural and ornate ceiling tiles
  • Improving and extending the Zodiac Bar and providing new toilets on all floors to better support events and activities
  • Improving accessibility to all parts of the building by adding extra lifts and opening up previously hidden spaces

The council’s initial bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund was rejected late last year, as 12 different organisations across the country collectively bid for £142m from a £54m pot.

The revised bid will be submitted in December.

Cllr Janet Emsley, cabinet member for culture, health and wellbeing at Rochdale Council, said: “We’re incredibly proud of the town hall and take our role as its custodians very seriously.

“We’ve already made big changes since our last bid, including opening the hugely popular Clock Tower restaurant and moving the Rochdale Music Service into the building. But we’d like to do so much more and we won’t be able to without the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“Public feedback is a very important part of the bid, so we would urge people to get behind us by filling out our online survey.”

The survey can be viewed and filled in at

The closing date for the consultation is 31 October.

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