Save our home says Back Door Music Project

Date published: 31 March 2010

Rochdale Town Centre re-development plans show that The Broadwater Centre, home of The Back Door Music Project, will be knocked down and replaced by a department store, although Rochdale Development Agency say the plans are not set in stone.

Carol Moore of the Back Door Music Project says that RDA and the Council have suggested alternative locations but none suited to their needs.

Ms Moore said: "The Broadwater Centre is the perfect location and venue for us on so many levels, on it's own plot of land with car park at the rear, town centre location yet on the opposite side of town to all of the pubs and clubs and away from any built up residential, areas. It's a stone's throw away from Rochdale bus station, so it's easy for everyone to get here safely and then get back home safely, without having to wander around the town centre late at night - the safety of all the young people is paramount to us.

"In order to fit up to 250 people in a room you need a very large space! The Broadwater Centre has this space, being the very first Rochdale public swimming baths we have a full size swimming pool underneath our wooden floor, just to give you an idea of the size of our main room! We also have a number of rooms to cater for our music workshops, office, practice room, drum and guitar lessons, etc. The centre also has a large open plan kitchen with plenty of tables and chairs for everyone in the building to use. In a nutshell the building has lots of space, and is the amount of space we need to continue to run our project,

"If a suitable venue/location or idea was offered by RDA/Rochdale Council/Genr8 Developments (Developer) then we would be happy to listen; we have looked at this ourselves and have yet to come up with a better venue/location than our present one.

Instead of being relocated we would like to propose that money be spent on renovating the current building and to use The Broadwater Centre as a "Historic gateway into Rochdale."

The Victorian Building was built in 1868, to be Rochdale's first public baths, in the Italian style of architecture thanks to Alderman Moore and Alderman Taylor at a cost of £9,500. Two large pools, one for the ladies and one for the gents, 65 feet 6 inches by 39 feet, and 38 feet high each room, the balconies in each room are one of the earliest examples of "cast in situ" concrete, apparently Roman technology and was used by them.

From 1941 - 1945 the building was used as Headquarters for Rochdale's Wartime Ambulance Service to help the war effort, and has been occupied since then by the youth service and now The Back Door Music Project and Skylight Circus Arts.

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