The initiative forms part of the Rochdale Stronger Together project developed by the Rochdale Borough Social Enterprise and Co-operative Forum. The project aims to draw on the borough’s co-operative heritage to create a ‘good local economy’ and bring together key partners to generate community wealth and wider wellbeing.
RBH hopes to use the information gathered by the students to help local people to grow existing community-based businesses and to start new ones, creating local jobs and opportunities.
On 18 October, RBH colleagues took the students on a tour of the town centre. They visited Rochdale Town Hall and the Rochdale Pioneers Museum, and were shown around Lower Falinge by Syed Hussain, RBH’s regeneration project manager. They also met with RBH chief executive Gareth Swarbrick and Rick Walker from Cartwheel Arts, who is chair of the Rochdale Borough Social Enterprise and Co-operative Forum.
Edward Carpenter, RBH lead for local economic development, said: “We are really excited to be working with the Manchester students who bring experience, enthusiasm, and a fresh perspective. We hope that the visit provided the students with an insight into the rich heritage of the borough, as well as the opportunities for the future and our current challenges.
“We are looking forward to seeing the results of their research, and we hope that the information that they gather will help to provide more jobs and better opportunities for our local communities.”