The transformation of Rochdale town centre is well underway with the iconic 12 storey ‘black box’ now down to its fifth floor.
The painstaking task of bringing down the former municipal offices started back in May, with construction company Connells Brothers Ltd removing the structure floor by floor from the top down.
Within weeks, the scaffolding will be removed to enable the final four floors to be taken down from ground level, with demolition expected to be complete and the site cleared by the end of October.
A temporary 210 space car park will then be created on the site of the old bus station with landscaping and footways on the old black box site. This will further help connect Rochdale Interchange, the town centre Metrolink stop and Number One Riverside to The Wheatsheaf Centre and shops and businesses in the wider town centre. This work will be finished by Christmas.
Demolition of the Old Broadwater Centre and St Andrew’s Church on Smith Street has now finished, with a temporary 114 space car park set to be opening on site by the end of September.
The buildings are being demolished to make way for the Town Centre East scheme, a mixed shopping and leisure facility.
Councillor Richard Farnell, Leader of Rochdale Borough Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “Rochdale town centre has already changed immeasurably in a matter of months and by the end of the year it will look very different to what it does now. The demolition has progressed quickly and we are now much closer to achieving a better town centre with the kinds of shops and restaurants that we are currently lacking.”