A historic pocket of Rochdale town centre has been given a new lease of life as part of public realm improvements across the area.

The project at Bull Brow and Butts Avenue, delivered by Rochdale Development Agency (RDA) on behalf of the council, has included the repair of the historic paving stones, while planters have been installed to give the area a fresh new look.

Businesses in the area, including La Mancha tapas bar and Vicolo Del Vino wine bar have also benefitted from brand new outdoor seating, with additional benches installed for people passing through.

Festoon and feature lighting has also been introduced to boost evening dining and create a welcoming environment in this historic site, which is in the town centre conservation area.

The new street furniture incorporates symbols of bulls in a nod to the area’s name, which is believed to originate from the annual bull baiting festival which took place in the River Roch. Other accounts suggest it was so named because bulls would be taken through Bull Brow to the town’s slaughterhouse in Bull Yard.

Paul Fearnley, owner of La Mancha Tapas bar, said: “There have been some major changes in the wider town centre and it’s great to see that attention is also being paid to the smaller pockets.

“It’s a lovely little historic area around the Butts and Bull Brow and I really like the way the design incorporates the area’s unique heritage.

“My customers have already started using the new seating outside and I’m sure they’ll use it more and more as it we get further into summer and people are getting out and about more. It’s really looking 100 per cent in this area now and I love it.”

The project is part of a wider public realm scheme in Rochdale town centre, which aims to complement the area’s ongoing £400 million transformation.

Other areas to have benefited from revamps in recent years include the Bell Street area off Baillie Street, which faces Reel Cinema in the Rochdale Riverside complex. The site, which was neglected and overgrown, is now fully landscaped, with a giant mural featuring residents’ artwork, which was created as part of a giant community art project.

More than a dozen murals are also dotted around the town centre, following a festival in 2018, which saw international muralists, Nomad Clan, bring in fellow artists from around the globe to create giant pieces of art on the side of buildings across the town centre.


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