A year after featuring in a hit television documentary Rochdale’s famous Cotton Famine Road is in the news again following a huge cash injection to promote the area.

Rooley Moor Neighbourhood Forum has received £9,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £2,500 from Rochdale Borough Council to showcase the rich and varied history of the historic location.

The funding boost will help develop exciting heritage walks, attractive tourism signs and a range of attractive resources to market the area.

Trails will guide people to 16th century listed buildings, the site of the old Moorcock Inn nestled on the moors, old mining history as well as the famous road itself which boasts 320,000 cobble setts.

Cotton Famine Road and Rooley Moor featured prominently in Black and British: A Forgotten History when it aired on BBC Two in autumn 2016.

David Olusoga, now the honorary president of the forum, narrated the poignant story of Rochdale’s cotton workers taking a principled stand against the African slave trade.

The historic cobbled road was built in the 1850s after campaigners successfully lobbied for more investment in the town following the devastating impact the ‘cotton famine’ had on the local economy.

Councillor Janet Emsley, the council’s cabinet member for culture, said: “This is a wonderful funding boost for the area and will help promote and publicise its rich social history. Rochdale played a proud part in helping to bring about the abolition of the African Slave Trade. This exciting project will help tell the story to a new generation of people across the borough and beyond.”

Andy Meek, chair of Rooley Moor Neighbourhood Forum, said: “We are thrilled to have received support from Heritage Lottery and the council and we are really excited about this ambitious project, which will allow us to share the wide range of fascinating history in the area.”

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