Renewal of Rochdale – a typical Lancashire mill town

Join Mike Ashworth, former head of heritage for Transport for London, for a virtual tour of historic Rochdale, once a centre of the textile industries and birthplace of the modern Co-Operative Movement, and home like many such towns to an eclectic mix of buildings, grand and humble.

We follow the route from the town’s railway station down the challenging once thriving retail centre of Drake Street, now the core of a Heritage Action Zone, to the town centre with major buildings such as the 1933 Fire Brigade Station, the abandoned modernist Rochdale Observer offices alongside many smaller survivors that include the likely first ever purpose built Co-Op branch shop.

This is an opportunity to look anew at towns such as Rochdale where retail, economic and social changes make for challenging times but how heritage can form one of the major components of urban renewal and sustainability in a town with much to commend it.

Image: Rochdale River Bridge and Town Hall (Credit: Alan Hamer)