Two restoration projects were presented with the top awards as the best in building design was celebrated at the seventh Rochdale Borough Design Awards.
During a presentation at Rochdale Town Hall, the River Roch re-opening in Rochdale town centre collected the ‘Rochdale Borough Design Award’.
Judges were impressed with the contribution the multiple award-winning council regeneration project has already made to the regeneration of the town centre and its striking design. The project, which was backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Environment Agency includes flood risk benefits, including flood protection for 40 properties and improved drainage for a further 500. During the Boxing Day floods of 2015 the river re-opening helped flood water caused by record-breaking levels of rain disappear from the town centre quicker than it would have done without the river re-opened. The project has also helped attract wildlife – brown trout, kingfishers and wagtails have been all been spotted.
It’s the latest award for the river project, which has also won:
- Excellence in planning for the natural environment at the national RPTI awards.
- Outstanding project management in the Considerate Constructor Scheme awards.
- The Green Apple award for environmental good practice.
The restoration of two semi-detached houses at 51-53 Rochdale Road, Middleton originally designed by the renowned architect Edgar Wood won the ‘People’s Design Award’ with 265 votes.
Overall 566 votes were cast, with the Middleton properties being strong winners - over 150 votes clear in first place.
The event was opened by Mark Robinson, assistant director of planning at Rochdale Borough Council and the trophies were presented by John Jones, Regional Design Director from awards sponsor Countryside Properties.
Councillor Janet Emsley, the council’s cabinet Member for neighbourhoods, community and culture said:
“It’s very pleasing that an independent panel of judges have recognised the river re-opening project which has transformed the look of Rochdale town centre as well as providing much needed flood defences. This award is for everyone who worked so hard to bring the river-reopening to fruition, and acknowledges the drive and determination of a real team effort.”
Councillor June West, chair of Middleton Township and a board member of the Middleton Townscape Heritage Initiative said:
“The skill and delicacy with which the restoration of this pair of Grade 2 listed properties have been undertaken is superb and the work has ensured that the special architectural and historic interest of these important buildings will be preserved. I would like to thank everyone who voted for us and I know everyone associated with 51-53 Rochdale Road including their residents are absolutely thrilled."
Councillor Daalat Ali, deputy leader of the council and cabinet Member for planning & development visited the nominated buildings. He said:
“We have seen another high quality set of entries competing for the awards, each of them making a significant contribution to the local environment and benefiting its community. All our winners and nominated buildings deserve much credit.”
Nominees who will receive a certificate of commendation are - refurbishment and extension to the ‘Bird at Birtle’, Heywood, flats at Daventry Road, Kirkholt, refurbishment of Newgate House, Tetrosyl headquarters, Rochdale, refurbishment of the Wellington Hotel, Rochdale town centre and houses at Longridge Drive, Heywood.