Rochdale residents invited to help create giant town centre artwork

Date published: 01 August 2020


A property on Baillie Street close to the new Riverside development in Rochdale town centre is being transformed with a giant mural made up of images submitted by the public - and you’re invited to be part of it.

Rochdale Development Agency (RDA) is looking for 88 budding artists to have their work featured on the side of 21 Baillie Street for the next year.

RDA is looking for images that depict what Rochdale means to you and it can be a drawing, painting, photograph, craft item or even a piece of knitting and it’s open to everybody from novices to more experienced artists. 

As well as being a celebration of the best bits of Rochdale it’s hoped the initiative will become a magnet to entice people back into the town centre in the same way that the Dippy the Dinosaur exhibition attracted more than 100,000 visitors when it was displayed at Number One Riverside.

Councillor John Blundell, cabinet member for regeneration, business, skills and employment, said the ‘Find Your Space’ art project is a great way of celebrating Rochdale’s achievements and increasing footfall into the town centre at the same time. “This is open anybody and everybody,” he said.

“This is a unique chance for the residents of Rochdale to have their work displayed on the side of a prominent town centre building for the next year for everyone else to see. Don’t think you have to be as good as Banksy to take part. We want people of all ages and all standards to enter. What are you waiting for?”

Councillor Blundell said although the emphasis was having a bit of fun there was a serious point to the ‘Find Your Space’ art project too as they wanted to showcase the £250m revamped town centre to more people

“People who haven’t been to Rochdale town centre for a few years are stunned at the improvements we’ve made,” he said. “The old council offices and bus station have been demolished and replaced with a new bus station, town centre Metrolink stop, award-winning library and council building. Our river has been opened up and our flagship new £80m retail and leisure complex Rochdale Riverside opened during the pandemic.

“21 Baillie Street is located in the town centre and we thought the best way to utilise it was to turn over the side of the building into a giant artwork of some of the things that are great about Rochdale by the people who live here.” Councillor Blundell said there were no restrictions on what people draw as long as it celebrated something that makes Rochdale great.

 

21 Baillie Street is next to the entrance of the Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre, next to Rochdale Riverside

 

The ‘Find Your Space’ art project is a multi-agency initiative led by Rochdale Development Agency and also involves Rochdale Borough Council; Action Together, Link4Life, Rochdale Business Improvement District (Rochdale BID); and Marketing Manchester.

Paul Ormerod, chairman of Rochdale Development Agency, said: “Turning 21 Baillie Street into a giant canvas to celebrate the best of Rochdale is not only a great community project but it’s also good for business.

“The Dippy the Dinosaur exhibition attracted more than 100,000 visitors before Covid-19, many of whom had never seen the new-look town centre before. We think 21 Baillie Street will be equally popular.” 

Anyone with a link to Rochdale can submit an entry, It’s hoped some famous Rochdalians will also take part.

Entries need to be roughly A4 in size and drawn/painted/crafted in landscape (with the longer edge running horizontally).

For more details of how to take part and the full terms and conditions go to:

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