Heritage Action Zone

Drake Street is a historic thoroughfare from Rochdale station to the Town Hall, and was once the thriving commercial, cultural, social and civic heart of the town. Despite significant economic decline in recent decades, the area retains impressive examples of Georgian, Victorian and early 20th century architecture. It also has strong connections to the cooperative movement.

What is a Heritage Action Zone?

A Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) is a heritage-led regeneration programme, based on a partnership between Historic England and local communities. Rochdale’s HAZ is centred on Drake Street, and aims to reposition the area as a unique location for life and work.

The ambitious scheme will reverse the neighbourhood’s economic decline, attract new residents to the town centre, and use its distinctive heritage to support the development of new communities and new business opportunities. By celebrating and promoting Rochdale’s heritage, the HAZ will also seek to protect it.

Who is involved in the Drake Street HAZ?

In addition to the RDA, Rochdale Council and Historic England, the partnership includes Link4Life, Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, Rochdale BID, the Cooperative College and Cooperative Heritage Trust. Individual projects include partnerships with Manchester School of Architecture, street artists Nomad Clan, schools, colleges, churches, youth and community groups and property owners.

Image (c) Burnley Evening Post

What will happen?

The scheme has secured £2 million of funding from the Partnerships Scheme in Conservation Areas (PSiCA) grant programme. This and other grants will be used for the repair, restoration and reuse of historic buildings including:-

  • Converting historic buildings into high quality residential developments in Rochdale town centre – including schemes at 2 Smith Street and 19-21 Church Lane.
  • Supporting the South Parade Property Improvement Scheme, which will restore buildings on historic South Parade and make public realm improvements.
  • Contributing to the master planning of Neighbourhoods Rochdale, the development of more than 200 new homes at the junction of Drake Street and Milnrow Road, the site of the historic town centre canal basin.
  • Repurposing the historic Butterworth Jewellers building into a hub for cooperative-based learning, enterprise and development.

What else is going on?

The HAZ is also an opportunity to involve the local community in exploring and celebrating our fascinating local heritage. Projects so far include:

  • Rochdale Reimagined. A partnership with Manchester School of Architecture, with students developing concepts based on HAZ briefs, resulting in an exhibition at Number One Riverside and the creation of a book and learning resources for Rochdale schools.
  • Rochdale Uprising Mural Festival. A week-long celebration of Rochdale and cooperation through street art, culminating in the creation of twelve large murals.

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Read the latest business investment and regeneration reports about Rochdale and the surrounding areas.

Heritage Rochdale           Drake Street Project

The ambitious scheme will reverse the neighbourhood's economic decline, attract new residents to the town centre.

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