A new community hub featuring shops and homes has been officially opened in Kirkholt, Rochdale.
The Strand was built through a partnership between Rochdale Council and mutual housing provider RBH, with support from Homes England.
Officially opened by the borough’s mayor, Councillor Mohammed Zaman, and Rochdale MP Tony Lloyd, the ceremony was attended by representatives from the council and RBH, along with local residents.
“It is an absolute pleasure to declare the Strand community hub officially open,” said Tony Lloyd MP. “The hub is part of wider investment in new homes, shops and facilities to make sure that Kirkholt is a great place to live and work. It’s a great example of partnership working – with RBH and Rochdale Council working together to invest in the Kirkholt community.”
The hub comes complete with a parade of shops and 16 new apartments for “affordable” rent.
Community facilities at the Strand hub include RBH’s drop-in service, which has relocated to the new premises to provide 30-hours per week access for residents, and public internet access.
Furthermore, the Kirkholt Pantry, a community food cooperative project, has been provided with dedicated space within the building, while a new community café is expected to opened shortly.
The first floor space has a large community hall, a training kitchen, and a community training room, all for the benefit of local people and local groups based in Kirkholt and in the wider Rochdale area.
“When RBH became a mutual in 2012, we were clear that one of our priorities was investment in Kirkholt. We were also clear that we would continue our work as a good partner with the council,” said Gareth Swarbrick, RBH’s chief executive.
“The buildings here at the Strand are part of a package of investment for Kirkholt, which includes RBH investment in existing homes, building new homes and the homes, shops and community hub at the Strand. There are further new homes and additional investment in our existing homes planned over the coming years.
“The investment has also been supported by Homes England with over £2.7 million grant funding spent in Kirkholt since 2012, including support for the new apartments at The Strand.”
Councillor Allan Brett, leader of Rochdale Council, added: “It is never easy making a scheme like this happen, but there was an absolute commitment from both RBH and Rochdale Council to get to the best solution for the community. This fantastic new facility is testament to a huge number of people in the Council, RBH, and the community who have made this happen by working together.”
The new building was designed by Manchester-based Triangle Architects and built by Bardsley Construction Ltd, with interior fittings by MRL Design.
Main image: The Strand hub is officially opened by Tony Lloyd MP and Councillor Mohammed Zaman, Mayor of Rochdale