New year is a time of new beginnings and that’s certainly the case for Rochdale’s St Andrew’s Methodist and United Reformed Church with work set to start on its new building in January.
The current building, on Smith Street, occupies some of the site earmarked for retail and leisure development as part of the multi-million pound regeneration of the town centre.
A new site for the church has been identified nearby on Entwisle Road adjacent to the new Rochdale Leisure Centre on land freed up by the demolition of the old Central Leisure building.
The planned relocation is a joint venture between the church and Rochdale Borough Council via Rochdale Development Agency (RDA).
Councillor Peter Williams, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said:
“Securing suitable new facilities for the church has been a key factor in ensuring we can get the land needed to support the regeneration of the town centre so it’s good to see progress being made. The site has now been cleared and we’re hoping to start construction work early next year.”
The Revd Carolyn White, minister to St Andrew’s, said: “We have continued to work closely with RDA over the past year and it is good to finally see our plans coming together. This is an exciting time for St Andrew’s as we begin to see the new development take shape and we look forward to our move.”
Facilities at the new building include a multi-use worship space, café area and community amenities to meet the church’s current and future needs.
A 112-space car park and new entrance road is currently under construction at the rear of the site. The car park, for leisure centre users, will provide up to three hours free parking and is due to be completed in December.
The start of construction of the new church is subject to final financial approvals from the council. The project is due to take 12 months to complete.
An artist’s impression of the new St Andrew’s Methodist and United Reformed Church is attached.