The building’s historic features have been carefully restored, including 350 ceiling panels in the Great Hall. Meticulous conservation using cotton wool buds has revealed original images of the Lancashire Rose and the Scottish thistle.
Minton floor tiles bearing images that signify Rochdale, including a hanging fleece, have been repaired in the Exchange room – originally a marketplace for trading cotton and wool. The elaborate vaulted ceiling and sweeping staircase in granite and marble have also been cleaned and restored.
“After four years of painstaking work, it looks incredible, just as it would have done when it first opened its doors well over a century ago.”
Councillor Neil Emmott, Leader of Rochdale Borough Council
On the ground floor, a room which was previously used for council meetings has been transformed into a permanent exhibition space. The new Welcome Gallery will tell the story of Rochdale, its people and its past, through objects, interactives and imagery.
Almost 500 volunteers from across Rochdale helped with the project including historical research, cleaning and conservation.
Councillor Neil Emmott, Leader of Rochdale Borough Council said: “After four years of painstaking work, it looks incredible, just as it would have done when it first opened its doors well over a century ago. Like so many of our residents, I know this building really well and I’m blown away by the quality of the work and how good everything looks.”