Contractor HH Smith has started work on the restoration of the UK’s Rochdale Town Hall, a grade I listed building often used as a filming location.

Over the next few years, Rochdale Town Hall will be transformed following a successful bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

HH Smith, which was selected after a competitive tendering process, will carry out the first crucial stage of work and perform critical work over the next six months.

These works will include electricals, drainage, wiring, and the stripping out of modern additions such as mezzanine floors and medium-density fibreboard (MDF) partitions.

HH Smith construction director Rob Smith said: “We’re delighted to be working on the prestigious Rochdale Town Hall regeneration project.

“To be able to demonstrate our restoration capabilities so close to home is a privilege and we welcome the opportunity to provide the many additional social benefits within the local community.”

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With this work, Rochdale Town Hall will be ready for the next phase of regeneration, as part of which teams of conservation specialists will restore the heritage features of the building.

As part of this regeneration, the magna carta mural and ceiling panels in the great hall, the stained glass windows, and the ornate wood carvings will be restored.

In addition, the project will create new spaces in the building, including the creation of a small ‘bright hall’ to cater to celebrations and community events.

A new exhibition space will also be created in the reception rooms.

Furthermore, a heritage skills conservation studio is planned to be set up in the basement and will offer the opportunity for to up to 15 people to train in the sought-after skills of conservation heritage.

The renovated town hall is set to reopen to the public in 2023.

Rochdale Development Agency is delivering the town hall restoration project on behalf of Rochdale Borough Council.

Donald Insall Associates, Max Fordham, Frank Whittle Partnership, Price and Myers, Focus Consultants, Redman Design and The Heritage Angel Ltd & Minerva Heritage are the consultants working on the town hall project.