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Rochdale Animal Centre is set for a new home at Hollingworth Lake Visitor Centre as a result of partnership working between Rochdale RSPCA, Rochdale Borough Council, Link4Life, and RBH.

The centre has been located on Redcross Street in central Rochdale since September 1939, recently celebrating its 80th anniversary, and the RSPCA has been looking for the opportunity to develop a brand new up-to-date facility as well as improving opportunities for local people to visit and learn about animal welfare.

Rochdale Borough Council and Link4Life have offered the RSPCA the opportunity to move to premises at Hollingworth Lake Visitor Centre, which will be refurbished as part of the partnership arrangements agreed. This will provide a modern facility for the Animal Centre and will allow the RSPCA to further enhance its services.

To help facilitate the move, local mutual housing society RBH has reached an agreement with the RSPCA to purchase the current Redcross Street site, as part of its plans to regenerate the Lower Falinge neighbourhood. RBH will bring forward plans for new homes on the RSPCA site, along with other land acquired in the area, in the near future.

David Canavan, vice-chair of trustees for the RSPCA’s Rochdale branch, said: “We are delighted that through the generosity of Rochdale Council in partnership with RBH and Link4Life, we have been offered the opportunity at Hollingworth Lake to develop and improve our animal welfare services for the Rochdale area, to expand our care for wildlife, and continue to provide our services to the community as a whole.”

Councillor Janet Emsley, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Community and Culture, said: “The aim and vision of the Council and partners for Hollingworth Lake Country Park is to create a regionally significant tourist destination as part of a wider regeneration programme for the country park and surrounding area and to enhance opportunities for physical activity and a place to visit which could enhance the wellbeing of residents and visitors.

“The vision builds on the historic past as the Weighvers’ Seaport to build a distinctive destination for both residents and visitors, with a range of facilities for all ages, all year round. Hollingworth Lake and Country Park will be a quality space, a place to experience and learn about the natural environment, take in the views across the lake and enjoy events and activities all year round.”

Andy King, CEO of Link4Life which manages Hollingworth Lake and Country Park on behalf of Rochdale Borough Council, said: “We’re happy to hear of the proposed development of the RSPCA centre and support this as an integral part of the overall Hollingworth Lake and Country Park vision.”

Clare Tostevin, RBH Director of Growth, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be able work together with the Council, Link4life and the RSPCA to help Rochdale Animal Centre relocate to a new modern facility. By acquiring the Redcross Street site, we’ll be able to deliver even more homes in Rochdale town centre and at the same time help the RSPCA to develop and improve its vital services.”