Car park at Rochdale Town Hall to close as restoration gets underway

Date published: 27 November 2020

The car park at Rochdale Town Hall will be closing in early January due to restoration work being started next year.

The council and Rochdale Development Agency are in the final stages of appointing a contractor to take forward the main building work, with the grade-I listed masterpiece set to close at the end of the year, ahead of work starting in January.

The scheme, supported by an £8.9m grant from the national lottery heritage fund, will see the famous building’s historic rooms and features restored, as well as the creation of brand new community facilities in rooms previously off limits to the public.

Most of the parking spaces around the town hall will need to be removed to make way for the site compound and facilitate the building’s transformation, so visitors will need to park in a different car park .

Across Rochdale town centre, there are more than 1,000 parking spaces, including over 700 in the Rochdale Exchange shopping centre nearby.

Visitors can still enjoy three hours' free parking in one of the 870 spaces available on council car parks or on street spaces in Rochdale town centre.

Councillor John Blundell, cabinet member for a thriving economy at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “To see our famous town hall surrounded by construction apparatus will be strange, but it will also be a really exciting visible reminder that this momentous project will soon be underway.”

The taxi rank on Packer Street will remain in place for the time being, as will a small number of spaces (32, including 12 disabled) in front of the town hall.

In the longer term, Town Hall Square will be given a major facelift, with plans to create a beautiful public square. The plans, which involve extensive repaving and the installation of plants, trees and street furniture, are being led by landscape architects, Gillespies. The company, which works across the globe, recently worked on the brand new Piece Hall in Halifax and created a roof garden at the google headquarters in London.

Councillor Blundell added: “In the longer term, this car park will be replaced by something so much better. It will be a stunning public square where people can come and relax, as well as enjoying major events, like the Feel Good festival.

“Sandwiched between our grade-I listed town hall, our grade-I listed cenotaph and the old post office, this square will really frame these wonderful buildings, which are currently obscured by a sea of cars.”

The changes to the car park are expected to come into effect in early January.

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