Details of the grand opening of Rochdale Town Hall have been revealed, with free tickets for the event set to become available from Tuesday, 20 February 2024.

The stunning Grade I-listed building recently underwent a major restoration, which was supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. And now residents and visitors will finally be able to see the results for themselves when the building throws open its doors on Sunday, 3 March 2024.

Teams of specialists, and more than 500 volunteers, have spent 4 years transforming the space and restoring it to its former glory. Spaces which had previously been hidden from view are also now accessible to the public for the first time.

A number of the historic features the building is so well known for, including the decorative ceiling panels and angels in the Great Hall, the Magna Carta mural, the extensive stained glass, painted surfaces and stonework have been painstakingly restored and cleaned.

Visitors will also notice new spaces that have been created in rooms which were formerly used by council staff and councillors. One of these is the new Bright Hall.

The former office space had unsympathetic additions, like mezzanine floors and partition walls, stripped away to reveal the double height ceiling, angels along the walls and a hidden window with views into the Great Hall. This space, which includes artwork co-created with the local community, is now open for events and community use.

On the ground floor, a former meeting room space now houses a new permanent exhibition, known as the Welcome Gallery, which tells the story of Rochdale, its history and its people. Many local residents and community groups have donated pieces to the exhibition space, while volunteers have done extensive archival research to help inform its fascinating content.

The grand reopening will take place on Sunday, 3 March 2024, with the doors opening at 10am to the sounds of the Rochdale Music Service Fanfare.

Residents will be able to wander around the space and soak up its beauty, while street theatre and outdoor arts specialists, Fool’s Paradise, move through the building with their special puppet show, ‘Rambling On’.

The Bombay Raja brass band will bring high energy Bollywood music to the event, with regular walkabouts through the spectacular rooms.

A live rug tufting workshop, led by Alena Ruth, will take place, in a nod to the borough’s notable history in the textile trade.


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