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RSPCA set for Hollingworth Lake move

04 September 2020

Fox at an RSPCA centre. Rochdale Animal Centre is set for a new home at Hollingworth Lake as a result of a working partnership between Rochdale RSPCA, Rochdale Borough Council, Link4Life and Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH).

The centre, which has recently celebrated its 80th anniversary, opened its doors in September 1939 on Redcross Street in central Rochdale. It has been looking to develop a brand new up-to-date facility as well as improving opportunities for local people to visit and learn more about animal welfare.

Rochdale Borough Council and Link4Life have offered the RSPCA the opportunity to move premises to Hollingworth Lake visitor centre, which will be refurbished as part of the partnership. This will provide a modern facility for the Animal Centre and will allow the RSPCA to further enhance its services.

To help facilitate the move, local mutual housing society RBH has reached an agreement with the RSPCA to purchase the current Redcross Street site, as part of its plans to regenerate the Lower Falinge neighbourhood. RBH will bring forward plans for new homes on the RSPCA site, along with other land acquired in the area, in the near future.

David Canavan, vice-chair of Trustees for the RSPCA's Rochdale branch, said: "We are delighted that through the generosity of Rochdale Council in partnership with RBH and Link4Life, we have been offered the opportunity at Hollingworth Lake to develop and improve our animal welfare services for the Rochdale area, to expand our care for wildlife and continue to provide our services to the community as a whole"

"Hollingworth Lake will be a quality space, a place to experience and learn about the natural environment"

Councillor Janet Emsley, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Community and Culture, said: “The aim and vision of the Council and partners for Hollingworth Lake Country Park is to create a regionally significant tourist destination as part of a wider regeneration programme for the park and surrounding area - to enhance opportunities for physical activity and wellbeing of residents and visitors.

“The vision builds on the historic past as the Weighvers' Seaport to build a distinctive destination for both residents and visitors, with a range of facilities for all ages. Hollingworth Lake and Country Park will be a quality space, a place to experience and learn about the natural environment, take in the views across the lake and enjoy events and activities all year round.”

Andy King, CEO of Link4Life who manage Hollingworth Lake and Country Park on behalf of Rochdale Borough Council, said: “We’re happy to hear of the proposed development of the RSPCA centre and support this as an integral part of the overall Hollingworth Lake and Country Park vision”.

Clare Tostevin, RBH Director of Growth, said: “We're absolutely delighted to be able work together with the Council, Link4life and the RSPCA to help Rochdale Animal Centre relocate to a new modern facility. By acquiring the Redcross Street site, we'll be able to deliver even more high-quality homes in Rochdale town centre and at the same time help the RSPCA to develop and improve its vital services”