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FOCUS ON ROCHDALE KEEPING IT LOCAL WITH ROSSO 27 Heritage Lottery Fund in April this year. Another major heritage and regeneration project, which was completed recently, is the re-opening of a stretch of the River Roch in Rochdale town centre, which was concreted over almost a century ago, to reveal its historic bridge, parts of which date back to the medieval period. The unique project, which drew young and old to a celebration event to mark its official re-opening, has already caught the attention of industry leaders, with the scheme picking up seven gongs, including the RPTI’s prestigious award for Excellence in Planning for the Natural Environment. And gazing out over the newly reopened river is a new bronze statue of the town’s favourite daughter, the late singer, actress and comedian, Dame Gracie Fields, which was unveiled in autumn. Moves to exploit Rochdale’s great past to create a better future make even more sense when you consider their potential to increase the borough’s economic, as well as cultural capital. The river re-opening project alone is expected to bring £3.6m into the borough’s local economy over the next ten years, while its flood reduction benefits are valued at around £5m. Although big changes have already rendered Rochdale town centre unrecognisable since the regeneration project started in earnest in 2010, the £250m turnaround scheme is not yet complete. The new Rochdale Riverside scheme, a £60m retail and leisure development, will give it extra purchase in the high street stakes and create a modern town centre with everything residents and visitors would expect. The 200,000 square feet mixed-use development, which will create over 1,000 jobs and be worth £17m a year to the local economy, took a big step forward late last year, Continued on page 28 rosso has been active in the local bus service market in Rochdale and the surrounding area since 1986 when bus routes were deregulated. The Company has over 100 years experience providing public transport in East Lancashire. Our brightly coloured red buses and friendly staff are a familiar site on local roads and streets and provide a variety of important links both within the town and also to and from the wider area covering places such as Bury, Whitworth, Bacup, Rawtenstall, Haslingden & Accrington. We are also an important provider of school services for Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM). The rosso business is one of the eleven remaining municipally owned bus company’s and belongs to Rossendale Borough Council. We operate from two depots, one of which is located in Rochdale and we offer a comprehensive range of competitively priced tickets, many of which can be purchased on our very popular rosso SMART card and this platform is ideal for corporate sales to employers and other businesses. For more information about rosso products and services go to www.rossobus.com or phone 01706 390520 and ask for the Commercial Dept. at Knowsley Park Way, Haslingden. BB4 4RS. ADVERTORIAL


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