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Rochdale awarded Heritage Action Zone status

Rochdale could be in line for a grant in the region of £500,000 after being named one of just eight Heritage Action Zones (HAZ) across the country.

The announcement by Historic England marks the start of work to revive some of the town centre’s most important historic sites.

The Drake Street area is set to be at the heart of Rochdale’s HAZ, with the aim of the project being to take the town centre off Historic England’s ‘at risk’ register by looking at various options to try and bring some of its key historic buildings back to life for residential or business use.

Specialists from Historic England will work with the council to help form an action plan for the area, with the money only set to be granted if the action plan is approved by Historic England.

Subject to approval, the HAZ will begin in May 2018 and run for five years, to help regenerate the area.

Rochdale Council has also pledged £1 million in funding to support the project.

Rochdale town centre is only the second place in the North West to be made a HAZ, with Appleby in Cumbria being awarded the status when the project was first launched earlier this year.

Catherine Dewar, planning director for Historic England in the North West, says: “Rochdale has so much to be proud of, from its Cooperative Heritage to its town hall.

“However, some of its historic buildings are showing signs of neglect, but with a little investment and imagination they can become assets for the people of Rochdale to enjoy and for the town’s economy.

“We are looking forward to working with Rochdale Council to increase awareness of what Rochdale has to offer and to make it easy for investors and developers to bring jobs, homes and visitors here.”