Your January 2020 edition of “Community Together”

This week our team will be delivering the January edition of “Community Together” – our newsletter for local residents in College Bank and Lower Falinge. This edition includes:

  • An update on our proposals for Rochdale town centre
  • An interview with former apprentice Sarah about opportunities to work for RBH
  • Information about our “Together with Tenants and Members” charter
  • Latest news from our New Pioneers Programme and our Residents’ Deal

Click here to download a PDF copy of your January 2020 “Community Together” and look out for a printed copy through your door soon!

College Bank Fire Safety Update: January 2020

RBH employees – from your caretaking team and neighbourhood housing officers to our fire safety professionals – are dedicated to keeping residents safe all year round.

Our trained experts carry out an assessment of every block at College Bank at least once a year. We undertake this process for every building we own which contains communal areas – over 400 in total across the Borough. The most recent assessments in College Bank were carried out in July 2019.

Following discussion with the tenants on the RBH Homes Panel about what we should prioritise on fire risk information the action plans following these assessments for each block at College Bank are published below. All original recommendations were made in July 2019 and we have also included a progress update from January 2020.

New Pioneers Programme – get in touch with our new Careers Broker

We’ve been working on the New Pioneers Programme together with the local community, the RSA, and the Government as part of our regeneration plans for Rochdale town centre. A year ago we were proud to launch the outline programme at an event at the Pioneers Museum with Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and Richard Tang from Rochdale-based Zen Internet.

We’ve now taken a big step forward with our plans – alongside Rochdale Council we’ve put in place our first careers broker!

Daisy is already out and about in College Bank and Lower Falinge, supporting residents on their journey to new skills and better employment.

The initial programme is for anyone living in College Bank or Lower Falinge (and for those who chose to move as part of the regeneration plans) who wants to improve their employment prospects, or gain new skills to enhance their career. It is for anyone over 18 who is either out-of-work or working part-time. We’re particularly keen to hear from those on Employment & Support Allowance or Carer’s Allowance.

Our Careers Broker, Daisy Silva, can help our New Pioneers develop new skills, make the most of their strengths, expand their comfort zone, and set new goals and priorities. It’s an intensive one-to-one approach, and those on the programme are also encourage to pool and use their individual strengths to support each other. There’s also the potential to access a flexible bursary to support individual career goals.

Do you think you would benefit or do you know someone who might? We welcome referrals – contact Daisy on 07866143999 or by e-mail to

College Bank and Lower Falinge discussed on BBC Radio Manchester

Our Chief Executive Gareth Swarbrick appeared live on BBC Radio Manchester earlier today (Monday 7th October) to discuss our proposals for College Bank and Lower Falinge. We would like to take this opportunity to stress the following points from this morning’s coverage.

Our proposals are about getting the right quality and mix of housing in College Bank and Lower Falinge to meet the long-term housing needs of both current and future generations.

We aren’t receiving case work requests from Councillors or local MPs to house people in College Bank or Lower Falinge, but we are receiving requests to help people move out. We know that the key need for social rented homes is for good quality family houses – and it is mainly houses that have been lost to social renting via “right to buy”.

We completely understand how unsettling and distressing the rehousing process can be for people. That’s why we our experienced team is taking time to provide personalised support to all those residents who need it; so that we can fully understand each resident’s specific needs and find a home that’s right for them.

This morning’s BBC report suggested that four blocks at College Bank would be demolished by March 2020. This is simply not the case.

We are not going to rush the rehousing process for any residents who need to move. We are determined to find the right moves for everyone, based on their individual housing needs. We have made a commitment to find replacement housing of the same size and type for everyone affected – and anyone who wants to stay in Rochdale town centre will be able to do so.

Rehousing is progressing well, with over a third of residents already moved from the first block at Mitchell Hey. By the end of next summer, we expect to have found a home for everyone who needs to move from this first block, but we have not yet set a date for any demolition work.

Integral to our regeneration proposals is our New Pioneers Programme, which is providing dedicated support to help those living in College Bank and Lower Falinge access training and improve their employment prospects. Our first New Pioneers careers broker is now in place, and already there are some great stories about how the programme is helping people on their journey to better work and healthier lives.

These neighbourhoods need big investment. We’ve been working with the communities in College Bank and Lower Falinge for the past three years. Like local residents, we want College Bank and Lower Falinge to be great places where people choose to live, and where residents have the opportunity to fulfil their potential with access to jobs, training, and excellent community facilities.

We’re working with our residents, the Council, and our partners, making investments that will support the local community for the next 25-30 years – and we’re not taking any decisions lightly.

We would ask any residents with questions or concerns to contact us either by email on or by calling our freephone number: 0800 027 7769 (using option 6).

Media coverage of deprivation statistics

The latest Government statistics on deprivation have once again drawn the media’s attention to Lower Falinge and College Bank.

RBH remains fully committed to playing its part in helping transform the prospects of Rochdale town centre and the people who have chosen it as their home.

As the statistics show, the challenges facing areas like College Bank and Lower Falinge are nothing new, but RBH is taking the lead to create new opportunities and improve conditions for local residents.

We are working in partnership with Rochdale Council on the ground-breaking New Pioneers Programme, to improve the employment prospects of central Rochdale residents. We’re also investing £25m of our own resources to create the quality, mix and choice of homes needed for current and future generations to stay within the town centre – both by building new homes and refurbishing existing ones.

We’ve also made a promise that all current residents who wish to stay in the town centre area will be able to do so – and we’re keeping it.

Our dedicated and experienced team is on hand to support residents who need to move home as the redevelopment of College Bank and Lower Falinge progresses.

Fire safety information for residents in College Bank

Following the tragic recent fire in the Mardyke block, a number of residents have contacted us for reassurance about fire safety in College Bank.

This week our Chief Executive, Gareth Swarbrick, wrote to all residents in College Bank with more information about fire safety. You can download a copy of Gareth’s letter here.

More information about fire safety in high-rise homes is available on our dedicated page on this website.