Plans to reveal medieval bridge hidden under Rochdale

Plan showing which sections of river will be revealed
Image caption Three sections of the river will be uncovered

Plans for a £3.5m project to uncover the river in the centre of Rochdale have taken a step closer.

The scheme would see three sections of the River Roch uncovered revealing a 14th Century medieval bridge.

A planning application for the project has been submitted to Rochdale Borough Council and the Environment Agency has committed £500,000 to the project.

Councillor Peter Williams said: "Reopening the river here is another huge step in Rochdale's regeneration."

He added: "It will build on the historical character of this area and offer residents and visitors an attractive environment to come and visit and spend time in."

The river was covered by what is believed to be one of the widest bridges in Europe in stages between 1905 and 1928, as the town centre was developed.

The council is now planning to submit a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund which will include the conservation of the medieval bridge and a programme of activities to involve local communities with the project.

English Heritage visited Rochdale in July and expressed its support for the project as part of the wider heritage-led regeneration plans.

A decision on the application is expected at the end of the year.

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