The New Pioneers: RBH and RSA launch pioneering programme to support local residents in central Rochdale

New Pioneers Programme launch

RBH and the RSA have set out plans for a pioneering new approach to support residents in Rochdale town centre to improve their skills and find better and more secure jobs.

The “new pioneers programme” (NPP), is a collaboratively designed new support programme for residents in Lower Falinge and College Bank. The programme has three mutually supporting elements, which together provide the opportunity for lasting change. These are:

  • A new pioneers income: a basic income instead of existing benefits, providing financial stability and flexibility for participants to allow them to plan long-term for their career and their future.
  • A new pioneers space: a community space, integral to the wider physical regeneration of the neighbourhoods, where the programme can be based.
  • Dedicated careers brokers, providing intensive and personalised support to participants.

The Programme will be aimed at working-age adults living locally in College Bank and Lower Falinge who are either working part-time already or out of work on Employment and Support Allowance or Carer’s Allowance. The programme would provide intense support and a basic income for participants for 12 months and initially intends to run for three years to provide support up to 120 New Pioneers.

This proposed new and innovative approach was set out today (Friday 14th September) at a special event held at the Pioneers Museum in Rochdale; RBH’s Director of Growth Clare Tostevin was joined by special guest speakers Andy Burnham (Mayor of Greater Manchester), Matthew Taylor (Chief Executive, RSA), Katie Schmuecker (Head of Policy, Joseph Rowntree Foundation), and Richard Tang (founder and Chief Executive of local employer Zen Internet). The event was chaired by the RSA’s Ed Cox.

RBH and the RSA are looking to implement and fund this initial phase collaboratively, and today’s event was held with local public bodies, national government, and philanthropic and social investors, all of whom have an interest in testing the merits of the new approach.

Thursday drop-in sessions – temporary change of venue

As the TRA Office at College Bank is currently unavailable, the Thursday drop-in sessions have been rearranged to take place at Lower Falinge Housing Office until further notice.

The sessions will continue to be held every Thursday from 10am until 12 noon and all those who live and work in College Bank and Lower Falinge are welcome to drop in. The Tuesday sessions at Lower Falinge Housing Office, also from 10am until 12 noon, are unaffected and will continue as scheduled.

RBH submits planning application for 55 new homes in Lower Falinge

The next stage of RBH’s plans to deliver a better quality and mix of homes in Rochdale town centre has taken a step forward, with a new planning application to deliver 55 new homes at the heart of Lower Falinge.

The new homes will replace five existing 1960s blocks of flats, which are proposed for demolition as part of the development. The blocks will be replaced with 55 brand new homes, comprising 33 flats and 22 houses, together with a new park and play space which will provide a new “green heart” at the centre of Lower Falinge. This new green area will provide improved public open space for both new and existing residents, and better connections and routes through the neighbourhood.

The detailed planning application shows the full design of the area, including the type of new homes, the appearance of the homes, the construction materials, the overall site layout and the scale of new homes. It will also show the proposed access and parking arrangements, and the landscaping proposals, including the new open public open space and play facilities.

In keeping with RBH’s promise to keep the community informed every step of the way, the latest version of the proposals were shown at a community workshop at Lower Falinge Community Base on Thursday 2nd August. These built on the ideas from the community fed back after an earlier workshop in April.  The workshop ensured that local people were able to see the proposals before they were submitted as a planning application.

Display boards from the community workshop are available to download on this website.

The RBH team will continue to provide advice and assistance to those residents affected by the demolition proposals. RBH have promised that all RBH tenants affected by the demolition will be guaranteed a like-for-like home within the town centre area. Tenants will also receive compensation and priority for rehousing.

Clare Tostevin, RBH Director of Growth, said:

“Our proposals will deliver 55 new homes of the highest quality at the heart of Lower Falinge. Residents have told us that they would like to see more family homes with gardens in Rochdale town centre, and our proposals will help us to improve the quality and mix of homes in the area.”

Community Workshop – Thursday 2nd August

Our next community workshop will be held on Thursday, 2nd August, from 3pm to 7pm at the Lower Falinge Community Base, 238 Newstead, Lower Falinge.

At our last community workshop in April, we presented proposals for the next phase of new homes at Lower Falinge, as part of RBH’s proposals for the College Bank and Lower Falinge neighbourhoods.

We received lots of ideas and thoughts on different parts of the proposals and we have used that to finalise the detail ready to submit a planning application.

This workshop will be an opportunity for you to have a look at the latest plans and to see what we will be submitting for the planning application.

Don’t worry if you can’t make the workshop, information will also be uploaded to this website and to our Facebook page.

Lower Falinge Demolition Notices update – 23rd July 2018

In summer 2017, RBH set out proposals for the College Bank and Lower Falinge neighbourhoods which identified some homes which would be affected by demolition. We promised the community that any RBH tenant who needed to move would have at least a year’s notice of this.

In early April 2018, we explained that one of the next steps in taking forward these proposals would be to issue a legal notice called an Initial Demolition Notice to homes expected to be affected by demolition in the next seven years. As we explained in April, this does not mean that demolition is about to start. It lets residents know, formally, that their home could be demolished within the next seven years as part of the proposals.

On Thursday 5th April, we knocked on the doors of all affected residents to let them know about this face-to-face, provide a copy of our information sheet about the notices and what they mean, answer questions and provide support before any formal legal notice is issued.

We can now confirm that today (Monday 23rd July) we have issued Initial Demolition Notices to residents in 16 blocks in Lower Falinge. Along with the formal notice, we have included an explanatory covering letter, and an information sheet with further explanation, together with details of how to get in touch with RBH for support or advice.

We will continue to support residents affected by the proposals, including providing support for rehousing, and we continue to work on the detail of the proposals. We will be submitting a planning application for the next phase of development at Lower Falinge in the near future.