RIVER ROCH UNCOVERING
For over a century the River Roch in the centre of Rochdale was hidden, running through a culvert in the heart of the town centre.
The idea of opening up the river was talked about for decades and in 2011 Peter Rowlinson, then Rochdale Borough Council’s Head of Planning and Regulation, began to look at it seriously.
In early 2014 a design was chosen after architects submitted plans.
Late in 2014 a revised proposal, which was expected to cost up to £1m less than the previous plan, was approved.
Work began in March 2015 with the site being cleared and hoardings erected.
By the end of 2015, the project was progressing well with sections of the bridge repaired on both sides, using the same stone which was used to construct the bridge originally (millstone grit).
In 2016, specialist stonemasons continued the bridge repairs and work continued on the riverbed to improve its biodiversity and enable it to attract more wildlife.
The project was completed in June 2016 and an official 'Revealing the Roch' party took place on 25 June 2016 with the ribbon cut by the Mayor and Mayoress, and one of Rochdale’s oldest residents, 101-year-old Alice Nicholson.