FWP appointed to Rochdale town hall renovation

Preston-based Frank Whittle Partnership has been appointed to manage the costs of the £16m redevelopment of Rochdale's Grade I listed town hall.

The has previously worked on heritage projects across the North West and will draw on this experience when working on the treasured, gothic building.

FWP will be quantity surveyor and cost manager working with a team of specialists which has been commissioned to transform the Victorian town hall, following a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £8.9m.

Successful ongoing projects for FWP include Carlisle Cathedral, Walton Hall Estate near Warrington, Rivington Terraced Gardens in Bolton and the Lambert Brothers Printworks in Preston.

The Rochdale project, due for completion in 2023, will restore the famous landmark’s many historic features, including the Magna Carta mural and ceiling panels in the great hall and its extensive stained-glass windows.

The gothic masterpiece will be brought back into use for the public with new displays and installations telling the story of Rochdale and its people. The old library on the first floor, which was more recently used as office space, will also be restored and re-opened for community use as the new Bright Hall, in honour of prominent industrialists and radical politicians, the Bright family.

To be able to give this building a new life fit for the 21st century is both a huge challenge and a tremendous honour

Councillor John Blundell, cabinet member for regeneration at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “The town hall is a place of majesty and beauty, which is renowned across the country. For that reason, we set the bar extremely high when selecting specialists to lead its restoration. A building so special needs the absolute best and we’re confident we’ve got the calibre here to make this critical project a huge success.”

David Robinson, managing partner at FWP, said: “Rochdale Town Hall is one of the great Victorian civic buildings in the north of England and to be able to give it a new life fit for the 21st century is both a huge challenge and a tremendous honour.

“The team assembled by Rochdale Council has vast experience in working on heritage projects and listed buildings and the public of the town can look forward to the transformation of this historic asset.”