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Rochdale: Cultural Touchstones

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Establishing a Cultural Improvement District (CID) in Rochdale

The second round Cultural Development Fund (CDF) project, led by Rochdale Borough Council, Rochdale Development Agency and Your Trust Rochdale, will deliver 3 priorities from Rochdale’s Pioneering Creativity Strategy:

  • Establish a town-centre Cultural Improvement District (CID);
  • Rebrand, reconfigure and reimagine Rochdale’s main arts & heritage venue, Touchstones; and
  • Pilot an innovative, sociocratic Cultural Compact.
Artist's drawing of an entrance foyer to Touchstones arts venue, with cream walls, black and white square tiled floor and signs pointing towards rooms leading off the foyer, including a shop, workshops, galleries and a library. In the foreground a woman stands at an information desk in front of stairs leading up. People are enjoying using the venue in the background.
Architect’s drawing of Touchstones entrance

Cultural Improvement District

Rochdale will establish a town-centre Cultural Improvement District (CID) incorporating existing assets, new spaces & improved public realm, including:

  • Investing in signage, branding, paving, lighting, public art, programming & marketing to improve attraction, wayfinding & experience;
  • Knitting together development zones; and
  • Making new connections across the town through culture.

Reimagining Touchstones

Support from the Cultural Development Fund (CDF) will contribute towards rebranding, reconfiguring and reimagining Rochdale’s main arts and heritage venue, Touchstones. This will create a flagship hub at the heart of the CID with new flexible spaces for:

  • Production
  • Enterprise and Innovation
  • Education
  • Collections
  • Exhibitions
  • Events and Performances.

Cultural Cooperative Compact

Building on Rochdale’s rich history as home of the first commercially successful co-op, the CDF project partners will pilot an innovative, sociocratic Cultural Cooperative Compact building on existing networks, best practice models and research to collaboratively develop and support the diverse creative and cultural sectors across Rochdale Borough.

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