Rochdale town centre has been undergoing extensive redevelopment in recent years and the fruits are now beginning to be seen.
Number One Riverside has been open for a year and even sceptics, including some working in the building, are being won over to the advantages of the building.
Just across the river, the new transport interchange is in operation and a drastic improvement on the old bus station.
Assessment work is currently being carried out prior to the start of demolishing the 'black box' and the old bus station to create what is intended to become the site of a new leisure and retail development in the heart of town.
Work on a new £2.5million pound entrance to the Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre on Baillie Street will commence once the existing overhead walkways from the black box/old bus station have been removed.
The Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre has new owners and the Council has taken back control of the market - a public consultation is under way to decide its future.
Marks and Spencer has confounded rumours of their exit from the town by starting work on refurbishing their Yorkshire Street store.
Metrolink reached the train station late last year and in spring this year the extension to the town centre will open.
The design for the opening of the River Roch in the town centre, the 'Rochdale Riviera', has been announced and includes glass viewing platforms to allow visitors to see the exposed medieval bridge in more detail as well as extensive greenery around the site.
The second stage bid for Heritage Lottery money to re-open the river will be submitted in February with the council expecting the results in the summer.
Whilst there are still issues with town centre business rates making trading in town difficult for many businesses and on-line shopping changing the public's buying habits, Rochdale is no different to many other towns in struggling to reinvent its 'High Street'. However, there can be no doubting the work that has gone on, and will continue to go on, to improve the town centre.
To encourage people to visit the town centre, and see for themselves the difference, Rochdale Online has teamed up with Rochdale Town Centre Management and are offering £200 to spend in the town centre to the reader who, in the opinion of Town Centre Manager Debbie Hernon, emails the best advert for the town centre in less than 200 words (one for each pound!), accompanied by a photo taken by you in the town centre (the photo is not being judged, just your words).
The winner must agree to their name and 'advert' being published and being accompanied on their town centre shopping trip to spend the prize by a Rochdale Online reporter who will write an article about your trip and take photos to be published on Rochdale Online.
Deadline for entries is 31 January.
Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Competition terms and conditions
The prize money must be spent in one day in Rochdale town centre. The winner will be accompanied by a Rochdale Online reporter who will pay for goods on behalf of the winner up to the value of £200.
The winner agrees to their 'advert' and a report and photos of their shopping trip being published on Rochdale Online.
One entry per person - anyone sending multiple entries will automatically be disqualified.
Employees/Agents of Rochdale Online Ltd and Rochdale Town Centre Management or associates are not eligible.
Only fully completed entries with bona fide information will be accepted.
A valid email address is required as the winners will be notified by email within seven days of the closing date. Any winner found to have used an invalid email address will be disqualified.
The winner will be selected from all correct entries by Debbie Hernon of Rochdale Town Centre Management.
If you are selected to be the winner but decide not to accept the prize or you break these rules, we may select another winner.
There is no alternative to the prize.
The Promoter's decision is final and legally binding on all entrants. No correspondence will be entered into. Entries that do not comply in full with these entry rules and conditions may be disqualified.
Submitting an entry signifies your acceptance of the competition rules.
Article from Rochdale Online http://www.rochdaleonline.co.uk/news-features/128/advertorials/84974/competition-win-200-to-spend-in-rochdale-town-centre
27 Jan 2014