Chairman of Rochdale Township backs calls for "demolition" of Black Box!

March 9, 2005 5:11 PM

Liberal Democrat - Chair of the Rochdale Township - Cllr. Alan Taylor is calling for urgent action to redevelop Rochdale Town Centre. Cllr. Taylor will be working with the Township as a matter of urgency to look for opportunities to increase customer and business interest in the Town Centre.

A Rochdale Town Centre Sub Group is being set up at the next meeting of the Rochdale Township (9th March)

Cllr. Taylor said, "Rochdale has had a bad time of late with the problems with the Metrolink, the ongoing problems with the Oldham / Rochdale Loop line and the failure to be awarded the money for a new Bus Station. It is essential that areas close to the Town Hall should be improved earlier than the original proposals. We need to attract investment in our Town Centre. The current timescale is too long for the kind of retailers we are trying to attract to Rochdale."

The Sub Group will look at a variety of issues including; The relocation of the bus station / refurbishment of Council Premises, a newly centrally located leisure centre, an extension to The Wheatsheaf Centre and a new public square. The future of the Black Box will also come under close scrutiny.

Cllr. Alan Taylor said; "If we were to demolish the Black Box the area that would be released is amazing, the fact that this ugly building spoils the look of Rochdale Town Centre is not the only reason I want to see it gone. I genuinely believe that its demolition will kickstart the regeneration of the Town Centre - starting with a new bus station. Rochdale needs to move on and relocating the Council Property out of the town centre is one benefit - but also we need to see a new bus station. I know a new bus station does not have the unanimous support of all Members of the Council but I feel the public need a safe, modern bus station. Removing the dreaded Black Box and the old bus station will make this possible and the sooner they are confined to the history books of Rochdale the better!"

The image of Rochdale is something that Cllr. Alan Taylor is concerned about.... "Rochdale is still in the 1970's and if we are to attract the kind of high quality retailers into Rochdale it is something that needs addressing. This Council needs to be seen to do things in the civic space near the Town Hall and will pushing for this to happen. Yorkshire Street is another priority - the street cleaning is now very good but still the image is of litter and dirt..." said Cllr. Taylor. "...I have asked the Highway's Department to look at the cost of resurfacing the road and improving the lighting. I appreciate that the regeneration of the Town Centre cannot be done overnight but these are simple things that show our commitment to a bright new future."