The ceiling is not the limit for new volunteers offer at Rochdale Town Hall

The Great Hall at Rochdale Town Hall.
The Great Hall at Rochdale Town Hall.

Published: 24 June 2022

Residents of the borough are being given a new chance to get involved in the restoration of Rochdale Town Hall.

As part of the work underway, local people are being offered the opportunity to work on the ceiling in the Grade I-listed building’s Great Hall. The work involves removing layers of varnish and dirt on hundreds of painted ceiling panels to bring them back to their original state. This will mean being able to work at height as the conservation team, headed up by Hirst Conservation, use scaffolding to reach the boards.

A worker examining ceiling tiles in Rochdale Town Hall.

The work will involve working at a height using scaffolding.

Councillor John Blundell, cabinet member for economy and regeneration, said: “This is a great opening for local people who want to participate in the restoration of our Grade I-listed building.

“It will give people the chance to say they were part of the work to return the town hall to being fit for generations to come.

“Volunteers are so vital to the work we are doing, we couldn’t complete it without them and the value of volunteers cannot be underestimated.”

Volunteers will have the opportunity to learn more about the building and conservation of plaster supports, as well as experiencing working on a live building site as part of a large team as further work is started.

A volunteer cleaning ceiling tiles in Rochdale Town Hall.

The work will involve cleaning away years of grime and varnish.

Karen Morrissey, conservation manager at Hirst Conservation, said: “We’re very excited to be embarking on the conservation of the Great Hall ceiling, as well as stone cleaning to the great stairs.

“Initial cleaning trials on the painted ceiling have shown that, by removing years of dirt and discoloured varnishes, we will transform its appearance. This will be a wonderful opportunity for all involved.”

This latest chance to have a role is part of a wider restoration of the town hall being supported by Rochdale Borough Council, Rochdale Development Agency and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, who have provided £8.9 million in funding for the project.

The deadline for registering your interest is Monday, 27 June 2022 with site induction on Tuesday, 5 July 2022.

If you want to apply, please email Victoria.Hilton@Rochdale.gov.uk.

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