L-R- Richard Farnell, Chris Bell and Tony Burgess
Work is underway to transform the former Santander building in Rochdale town centre into an indoor market.
Building firm H Bell and Sons Ltd is busy turning the three-storey property into a shopping facility, which will be complemented by outdoor stalls around the newly re-opened River Roch.
The contractor will install lifts in the historic building, as well as replace the roof, undertake extensive work to the outside of the building, and reinforce the floor. The work, which will then be followed by an internal fit-out, is expected to take around five months.
Councillor Richard Farnell, leader of Rochdale Borough Council, said: “We are now looking at improved proposals for our indoor offer to make best use of the old Santander building as part of our fantastic new market.
“Rochdale has held a market charter since the 1200s, and it will be great to see our historic market tradition returning in style in one of the town centre’s many heritage buildings, in the heart of the conservation area. This will be an important addition to our new town centre and I’m looking forward to seeing it develop in the coming months.”
H Bells and Sons employs 30 people, and has taken on an additional foreman and labourer to help with the Rochdale Market project.
Managing director, Chris Bell, said: “We’ve been here in Rochdale for over 100 years, so we’re a part of the borough’s history. We’re proud that with this prestigious project, we can now help Rochdale Borough Council and Rochdale Development Agency shape its future.
“It’s our company policy to buy over 85 per cent of our materials within a 10 miles radius of Rochdale, so the wider local economy will also benefit from this project in the immediate term.”
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