MP Simon Danczuk has praised the team tasked with preserving Rochdale’s cultural heritage, saying the town “punches above its weight” when it comes to showing off its unique history.
The MPs comments came after a visit to the Arts and Heritage Resource Centre in Fishwick Street, where a collection of thousands of Rochdale artifacts are stored and maintained.
The centre, which is run by Link4Life, also holds local history sessions for local schools and other groups.
Among the collection’s many highlights is the imposing bookcase once owned by Rochdale politician John Bright, which the council hopes to restore and display in the Town Hall.
The award winning Touchstones Museum has won national awards and museum experts across the UK have come to Rochdale to learn how best to promote and preserve local heritage.
But the Link4Life team are keen to do even more. They aim to get as much of the reserve collection on display as possible and use digital innovations to make the archive more accessible to the public.
Tom Besford, Arts and Heritage Manager, said: “Part of our job here is not just putting these items on display but looking after them so they can still be enjoyed 100 or 200 years from now.
“We want to put arts and heritage at the heart of Rochdale, which is where it needs to be because there is so much great stuff out there.”
Mr Danczuk said: “Seeing this fantastic collection up close was a real reminder that Rochdale punches above its weight when it comes to heritage, culture and the arts.
“Councillor Janet Emsley, Cabinet Member for Culture, Health and Wellbeing, is really passionate about promoting the unique history of Rochdale and that can be seen in the many excellent heritage projects that are taking place.
“The river re-opening, the planned renovation of the Town Hall and the Gracie Fields Trail will all do a great deal to bring visitors into the town.
“I think it's important to remind ourselves of just how much Rochdale has to be proud of.”