Mixed opinions about Drake Street make over

Date published: 10 September 2010

£200,000 has been spent in the Drake Street area by the Rochdale Development Agency (RDA) to try to enhance the look of the dilapidated shopping street. Rochdale Online reporter Kevin Burke took a trip to Drake Street to get people’s opinions. Was this a good way to spend money? Was it spent wisely? Will it help?

Alan Connelly said: “This is a worthwhile use of the cash, Drake Street is untidy. People think Rochdale is scruffy and this street has always been a bit of a mess. Bury and Bolton have tidier town centres and open air markets and Rochdale should have the same.

“There are a lot of very old shops here and they should build new ones. I wish there was a nice butcher’s shop here.

“I hope this revitalises the area and encourages businesses to come here.”

David and Bob, who refused to give their surnames, thought the price was very costly: “£200,000 for a few plants and three boards with spelling mistakes is too much. They are just trying to hide that the area is dying. The fake shop fronts are ridiculous and a waste of money. They should have rebuilt and patched up the old buildings. Are they doing this for the Metrolink? That’s long overdue too, and a more worthwhile investment.”

The board with the spelling mistake (dining was spelt dinning) was nowhere to be seen today, the offending board having been hastily removed.

A RDA spokesman said, “Everything that is up there is spelt correctly. We cannot find the misspelt sign.”

Darian Mills, of record store Rocks Off, said, “People have been complaining that Drake Street is gloomy for about 20 years and it’s about time they jazzed it up. I think the timing is a bit transparent, though - the Tour of Britain is going down here tomorrow. For that price, though, they could have rebuilt buildings like Sizzles rather than make some fake shop fronts. Short-sighted people might walk into them,” he joked.


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