Today, Rooley Moor Neighbourhood Forum has received £9,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards an exciting project, Sharing the Rich and Varied Heritage of Rooley Moor and the Cotton Famine Road. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, and with partnership funding from Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, the project focuses on sharing the varied physical and social history in the Rooley Moor area of Rochdale.
The project will consult with a range of local and national groups to develop heritage trails and interpretive signage around the area, which will highlight a range of assets, for example the cotton famine road (featured on the BBC 2 Programme “Black and British: A Forgotten History”), built by Rochdale mill workers during the American Civil War. The people of Rochdale acted in support of the abolition of slavery as cotton supplies dried up. This resulted in great hardship for the people of Rochdale, and they were put to work outside of the cotton mills – for example building the cotton famine road (one of the highest roads in England) where 320,000 cobble setts were laid. The heritage trails will also visit listed buildings from the 16th century, the site of the old Moorcock Inn high up on the moors, sites of mining history and the remains of munitions factories in the nature reserve of Healey Dell. The trails will be supported by QR codes linking visitors to a website with a wealth of written, audio and visual resources providing further information on the physical and social history of the area.
Rooley Moor Neighbourhood Forum CIO is a community group working to protect, promote and preserve the area for future generations and will deliver this project with the support of local people, local organisations, Rochdale Council, United Utilities and the Lord of the Manor. Anyone who would like to be involved in this community based project is very welcome, and should make contact with Rooley Moor Neighbourhood Forum via the website (www.rmnf.org.uk).
Commenting on the award, Andy Meek (Chair of Rooley Moor Neighbourhood Forum) said: “We are thrilled to have received support from HLF thanks to National Lottery players and with the support of United Utilities, the Lord of the Manor and Rochdale Council we are confident this project will engage with local people and allow us to share the wide range of fantastic history that is accessible in our area. We would like to call out to all people with an interest in the area to find out more, and to get involved in this project.”