Public consultation due next month on proposals for Continental-inspired redevelopment

A “bold and ambitious” £500m scheme to transform Rochdale town centre has been unveiled.

The plans include a Continental-style square and cultural quarter, and a town hall square that would be the largest in England, Rochdale council said.

A water feature based on a similar one in Bordeaux is also included in the proposals, on which a public consultation is due to begin next month. Formal submission for planning permission will follow the consultation.

The main route into Rochdale will also be given a facelift, while a so-called “green valley” will offer a rural landscape in the town.

Council leader Alan Taylor described the plans to the BBC as “bold and ambitious”, saying this was a “great opportunity to build on our heritage and our existing assets, but with a modern twist”.