Over the next 15 years Rochdale will undergo a radical scale of
regeneration guided by the Masterplan which will transform the
borough into a thriving place to live, work and do business.
The Masterplan provides a clear framework directing these
changes and illustrates how public and private sector investment in
partnership can deliver a true transformation of the borough.
A clear picture
The well-received 2005 Masterplan gave our
partners a clear picture of how we wanted to drive change within
the borough, and how they could help us achieve it.
A true vision
Our Progress Report, published in 2008,
highlights just how much we have achieved in the meantime and how
our vision holds true.
Building on success
The 2010 Rochdale Borough Renaissance
Masterplan builds on this success, charting the progress we've made
and maintaining a clear vision of how the borough will develop
despite the challenging economic situation.
This Masterplan has been prepared following a
wide consultation process involving many key agencies with several
stakeholder workshops, held at key stages in the process during
which organisations have come together to help shape the emerging
If you would like further information about the Renaissance
Masterplan, or to request a free hard copy, contact the Special
Projects Team using the contact details at the bottom
of this page.
The Masterplan will focus on delivering 7 key
1. Creating sustainable neighbourhoods
Improving the attractiveness and sustainability of
neighbourhoods in each of the townships lies at the heart of the
masterplan to improve the quality of life in the borough. It's the
key to retaining existing residents, attracting new residents and
accommodating the wide range of age groups, family sizes, ethnic
groups and income levels that are necessary for diversity and
The quality of the borough's neighbourhoods needs to be improved
by focusing on those key elements that make up an attractive
- Choice of housing
- Quality local schools
- Access to employment
- Access to local shops and services
- Attractive local parks
- Accessible public transport
Rochdale's housing must be appropriate to meet the needs of all
of the borough's citizens. In particular it must help to retain the
borough's young people and attract new residents. It must be
affordable, flexible, attractive and high quality.
- Development should continue to be accommodated primarily within
the present urban boundary rather than spilling into the green
belt. Brownfield sites, derelict and underused land should be
targeted for new development and quality public space in order to
both protect Greenfield sites and make best use of urban land and
- Housing and employment uses can be mixed within neighbourhoods
where these uses are compatible so that journey to work trips can
- To encourage greater use of public transport there should be
greater density of development around transport links, for example
where the proposed Metrolink stops.
- The principles of sustainable development should be adopted.
These are social progress that recognises the needs of everyone;
protection of the natural environment; prudent use of natural
resources; including energy; and maintenance of high and stable
levels of economic growth and employment
- Continue the current practice of preparing detailed
neighbourhood plans supported by strong community involvement in
areas of major change.
2. Developing 21st century employment sites
Maximum advantage needs to be taken of the borough's existing
transport connections to attract new employment opportunities.
Transport connections need to be modernised and improved.
Improvements in public transport as well as private transport are
required. The town centres and strategic corridors and major new
business parks, particularly Kingsway Park, can meet the needs of
new economic activities and can offer a wide variety of employment
prospects to existing and new residents. Supported by the Metrolink
and improved rail services, new jobs can help to create a more
balanced commuter flow by bringing more workers into the
Rochdale has a moderately weak economy. The local economy has a
high proportion of jobs in the manufacturing sector compared to the
national average and employment in this sector is shrinking. The
number of start up businesses is relatively low and there are no
significant clusters of firms.
However, Rochdale has a strong presence of medium sized
businesses and new businesses have been attracted to the borough in
increasing numbers; there are significant opportunities for future
There are significant opportunities upon which the borough can
capitalise. Namely its advantageous position within the Greater
Manchester conurbation and the spin-off opportunities from
establishment of Manchester as a knowledge capital. The borough
must grow and expand with the regional economy and present and
market itself to this end.
The key challenge is to ensure that the physical infrastructure
- sites, premises and transport - is in place. Resources must be
concentrated on those sectors that offer the best prospects for
attracting new investment and jobs and sustaining and supporting
existing local employment. Key growth and investment points include
the major motorway locations (Heywood, Stakehill and Kingsway)
the 4 town centres and sites along the key transport corridors
to the south of the borough linking Rochdale with Manchester.
- Develop major business parks along the motorway corridors.
- Invest in new commercial development on the corridors between
motorways and town centres.
- Promote high quality live/work developments in suburban
- Relocate inappropriate employment uses from residential areas
onto more appropriate sites.
3. Establishing thriving town centres
The borough's town centres are key to the Rochdale Borough
Renaissance and the Masterplan proposes re-establishing them as the
primary focus for living, shopping, civic, commercial and cultural
The borough's 4 main towns, Rochdale, Middleton, Heywood
and Littleborough each have a key role to play both within the
context of their townships and the success of the borough. All can
offer a destination for residents and visitors alike and convoy a
positive image to the outside world.
Town centres have a role as places for civic expression and as
centres of service and economic activity. Improvement should focus
on the quality and range of what is on offer, the quality of the
built environment, the mix of uses, and the impact of vehicles.
- Major investment in new shops, offices and housing in Rochdale
- Deliver improvement in the shopping offer and urban environment
in Middleton, Heywood and Littleborough town centres.
- Develop the role of town centres as major hubs of economic
- Concentrate leisure and cultural environments largely in town
centres, for example, Middleton Arena, a new cultural and arts
centre at the rear of Rochdale Town Hall.
- Promote town centre residential development.
4. Capitalising on our environmental assets
The natural environment – the countryside, the topography and
the water – is one of the borough's greatest assets. Making more
use of the borough's green spaces and promoting active leisure is
an essential part of developing the image as a place to enjoy an
attractive lifestyle. The Masterplan aims to promote the
countryside as a major asset and connect it to our neighbourhoods
through river valleys and environmental corridors.
- Make the most of our countryside by opening up access to it and
views to and from it.
- Establish green corridors along river valleys and open spaces
to connect the countryside to the urban core.
- Develop outstanding town parks and local spaces, connected by
safe green links.
- Develop the Pennine villages, and associated countryside and
water, as a tourist destination.
The challenge here is to increase accessibility to the
countryside and connect the urban area of the countryside through
river valley's and green corridors. A new structure to the green
spaces of the Borough is therefore proposed which links all these
5. Focusing on strategic gateways and corridors
Gateways are the main entrance points to the borough usually
related to road or rail. Corridors are the main routes for
environmental, transportation and recreational links. Internally
they provide key movement routes connecting the borough's
communities with employment, retail and recreational areas.
Gateways and corridors have a role to play in assisting
regeneration and physical renewal. Critically these routes affect
the perception and image of the borough and most require
substantial and urgent investment in order to provide users with a
better experience. In terms of the economic regeneration of the
borough some major investment opportunities are found where these
- Concentrate investment and environmental improvement on key
gateway and transport corridors.
- Major gateways need to create a sense of arrival and high
quality profile and image for the borough.
- Major strategic corridors will be the focus for investment,
development and substantial environmental improvement.
- Where a junction of corridors meet, this should be a focal
point for investment.
At a number of locations there are major gateways and these
present excellent opportunities to create a sense of arrival and a
high quality profile and image for the borough. The key gateways
- M62 Junction 19 – to Heywood and Middleton
- M62 Junction 20 – at the A627M
- M62 Junction 21 – where the new junction layout will create a
new entrance to Kingsway Business Park and beyond
- M60 Junction 19 at Rhodes
- Rochdale Railway station/Metrolink stop
- A58/Todmorden Road junction in Littleborough
- M66 Junction 2 at Heap Bridge
Comprehensive improvement schemes will be developed for each of
them incorporating landscaping and possibly major public art
projects. It may also be appropriate to develop buildings of
outstanding architectural quality at key gateway locations, such as
Major strategic corridors will be the focus for investment,
development and substantial environmental improvement. The key
- Major motorways (the M62 and M60)
- Local road network (Oldham Road, the A627, the A58 and the
- Major public transport corridors (the Metrolink and existing
- Rochdale Canal
Along each of the key corridors there should be comprehensive
plans to maximise investment opportunities, create high quality
street scenes, integrate transport modes and maximise environmental
opportunities and linkages.
6. Accessible and integrated transport
Accessibility will be critical to achieving the vision for
Rochdale Borough. Improving access to town centres, employment
sites and services is vital as the borough develops and redefines
The borough has an excellent location on the motorway network
and this has been reinforced through the completion of the M60
orbital motorway. It's essential that this advantage be built-upon
by continuously improving access to the motorways within the
borough and concentrating developments along strategic
Radical improvements will also be required in the field of
public transport in order to improve connections within the
city region, improve services and replace outworn
- Maintain competitive advantage provided by continuously
improving our motorway accessibility, for example: the new junction 21 on the
- Improve rail infrastructure and services on the Rochdale
Manchester Leeds line and the Oldham loop line.
- Develop a complete Quality Bus Corridor network.
- Build new and improved transport interchanges, for example the
Rochdale bus station – Metrolink interchange.
7. Design and image
Across the borough attention must be paid to the design and
quality of newly built development to change the image of the
borough and to contribute positively to the sense of place and
character. Natural features – the hills, green spaces and water
should play an important role in shaping future development
Good quality design is central to all of the objectives of this
Masterplan. Good quality design will improve the investment
climate, make the borough an attractive place to live, and help to
improve social inclusion.
Design principles for Rochdale
Building on the principles established by The Commission on
Architect and the Built Environment (CABE), future development in
the borough should create places that:
- Have a distinct character and sense of identity.
- Have a sense of continuity and enclosure.
- Have a public realm that can be easily maintained.
- Ensure ease of movement.
- Are legible.
- Are adaptable.
- Promote diversity.
- Designing for community safety.