At the heart of Kirkholt: the story of the new Strand

Back in the early 2000s, the Strand was an ageing parade of shops and offices at the heart of Kirkholt - over the last decade, the Strand has been transformed by a partnership between RBH, Rochdale Council, and the local community. Find out more...

Right across the towns and villages of Rochdale, RBH has been working closely with Rochdale Council and local partners to provide new, affordable homes and modern community facilities that will stand the test of time.

The regeneration of The Strand in Kirkholt is a fantastic example of what can be achieved by working alongside the community – to help understand any local challenges and make the right investments to benefit an area for the long term.

Sadhna Sanghvi has run the pharmacy at the Strand since 1983 and seen plenty of change in Kirkholt over the years. In 2005, Sadhna joined the ‘Vision for Kirkholt’ steering group; a team of local residents and businesses working with RBH and the Council to find new ways of improving the local area.

I remember in the 80s and 90s the Strand was a really thriving parade. It felt safe here and always seemed busy. From the late 90s, however, it had started to look quite run down. Although the prescription service at the pharmacy has stayed fairly busy throughout that time, we always felt there was so much more that we could offer to the local community by attracting new visitors to the area. Local businesses and residents agreed that before building any new homes, we first needed to improve the facilities and healthcare services at the Strand - which for many people has become the heart of Kirkholt.

Sadhna Sanghvi Strand Pharmacy

In 2013, RBH appointed Manchester-based Triangle Architects to come up with a masterplan for the regeneration of the Strand.

RBH worked closely with Rochdale Council and the community to develop proposals that would provide new and modern premises for much-loved local shops and services – like the post office, pharmacy and dentist surgery – as well as creating 16 much-needed apartments for affordable rent and a brand-new Community Hub.

After working closely with businesses to find alternative short-term premises, demolition work began at the old Strand building in January 2017. The regeneration project was split into several phases, so that shops and services could remain open for longer, while any disruption to local residents could be kept to a minimum.

As part of our mutual transfer commitments to our communities we set out that we would work with partners on revitalising and regenerating key areas. The new Strand is a real testament to working in partnership and the engagement and input from local businesses and residents was vital in developing and delivering the proposals to revitalise this part of Rochdale.

Clare Tostevin RBH Director of Growth

Construction work at the Strand officially ‘topped out’ on schedule in January 2018. Along with eight new shop units and 16 affordable apartments, the Strand now boasts a modern, 750 square metre Community Hub - delivered by the Council and RBH working together in partnership.

The hub is a spacious and welcoming community space, offering a range of facilities and services to local Kirkholt residents. Alongside workstations with free wi-fi, the hub also boasts a café with an on-site training kitchen, a large community hall & training rooms, and a new community pantry.

The changes at the Strand have been incredible, especially at the Community Hub. The new pantry is more accessible than ever and has been a vital lifeline for local people on low incomes - especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve now got a fantastic base to work from and help tackle some of the key issues in the local area; like preventing people falling into poverty, providing training and employment to help people get into work, as well as helping to improve people’s everyday health and wellbeing.

Helen Kelsall RBH Community Partnership Co-ordinator

Local resident Amy Cocker is delighted with the improvements at the Strand. Through support from RBH’s Decide Together fund, she has been running a storytime activity for pre-school children at the hub, and has also benefitted from the community pantry.

There really wasn’t much disruption during the work at the Strand and everyone’s really happy with how it’s turned out. The hub is used by lots of people and the pharmacy is always busy. Regeneration has been really positive here and I think it’s so important for an area like Kirkholt. As well as the hub and the new shops, there’s also new, modern flats for local people which is great.

Amy Cocker Local resident and community volunteer
Proposed Visual

Plans submitted for more new homes in Kirkholt

We're continuing to work with the community and the Council to deliver more new social housing in Kirkholt. Find out more!

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