07 Jul The River Roch returns to town centre
In the 1900s, the River Roch, which ran through the middle of Rochdale town centre, was covered up in order to allow for the extension of the tram line. Since then, the river has remained unseen until a £4.9million project to bring the river back to the city commenced in March last year.
Crowds gathered for the official unveiling of the River Roch, which runs along the route of The Esplanade and outside the Rochdale Town Hall. Rochdale is now the only borough in Greater Manchester to have a river running through its town centre. This move was part of a £250 million regeneration scheme run by the Rochdale council with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Environment Agency.
The area has been beautified with the addition of trees, benches and promenades and it is hoped that this will bring people into the town centre. The opening of the river development was launched by 102-year-old local resident, Alice Nicholson. The river development is seen as a significant step towards highlighting the importance of Rochdale’s history while also improving the street scape of the city centre.
The redevelopment is expected to bring £6.72million into the Rochdale economy over the next 10 years, reconfirming the river’s importance in Rochdale’s industrial history. In the 1700s, the bridge over the river was one of only two main routes that allowed for transportation of goods between Lancashire and Yorkshire. It played a significant role in the wool trade and is continuing to play a part in the growth of Rochdale.
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