L-R: Councillor Ashley Dearnley, Chair of Rochdale Shopmobility, Jonathan Hindle from the RDA, Dennis Burr from Burr Design and Michelle Hollinrake, manager of Shopmobility Rochdale (seated) outside the new centre
Rochdale’s Shopmobility centre has a fresh new home following its move to a brand new site in River Street.
The new building, which is part of the £250m regeneration of Rochdale town centre, Shopmobility had to vacate its site in the old bus station, so the Council and Rochdale Development Agency (RDA) could press ahead with the regeneration of the town centre.
The charity moved to a temporary site in Baillie Street while work on its new premises took place, and has now officially moved into its new permanent base.
Shopmobility provides manual powered wheelchairs, powered scooters and volunteers to help people with limited mobility get around the town centre to do their shopping.
The new premises, which was funded by Rochdale Borough Council’s Highways Minor Works programme and Shopmobility, forms part of a transport interchange, with the new bus station, Metrolink stop and River Street taxi rank all closeby. A new cycle hub, where people can safely stow their bikes, is also set to be opened next to Shopmobility soon
Local businesses were also a key part in creating the new centre. Drake Street-based Architects Burr Design designed the scheme while H Bell & Sons constructed it. The kitchen and carpets were donated by the Pennine Kitchen Company and the Carpet&Flooring Depot.
Mark Widdup, Service Director for Economy and Environment at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “It’s great to see this fantastic new facility opening in River Street in the heart of Rochdale town centre’s new transport interchange as part of the huge redevelopment of the town centre, which is well under way. Shopmobility is a valuable charity, which helps people to stay independent and we’re glad that people will continue to be able to access all that Rochdale’s improving town centre has to offer from this brand new site.”
The scooter race for the opening of Shopmobility 22nd July 2015 - around 10 independents in Rochdale town centre collecting SHOPMOBILITY letters from each one.