BBC’s decision to broadcast Rochdale’s iconic town hall bells during news bulletins

After a public outcry and demands that the regions be heard, the BBC has now bowed to public pressure and Rochdale’s town hall gongs will now be heard throughout the land.

The council has hailed the BBC’s decision to broadcast Rochdale’s iconic town hall bells during news bulletins while London’s Big Ben is being repaired.

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The leader of the council Councillor Allen Brett was at the forefront of the campaign led by Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry to persuade broadcasters to use Rochdale’s town hall bells while Big Ben is undergoing a major four-year repair programme.

Rochdale Town Hall’s famous clock

Councillor Brett said the BBC’s original decision to use pre-recorded chimes of Big Ben on TV and radio news bulletins had sold licence payers short and was a London-centric snub to the alternative options available outside the capital.

After a public outcry and demands that the regions be heard, the BBC has now bowed to public pressure and Rochdale’s town hall gongs will now be heard throughout the land.

In a statement, over the weekend BBC director-general Lord Tony Hall said the famous sound would be broadcast over this year’s festive period.

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Councillor Brett said: “The BBC has really tuned into public opinion and given a ringing endorsement for Rochdale Town Hall’s renowned bells.

Councillor Allen Brett, leader of Rochdale Borough Council

This will really chime with people, not just across the borough but throughout the north and beyond.

It’s a real boost for Rochdale and I am proud our town has been recognised in this way.

The town hall is steeped in history, with an incredible backstory, and this wonderful news helps write yet another chapter.”

For more information about this story, please contact Rochdale Borough Council’s media team on 01706 926002 or newsdesk@rochdale.gov.uk

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