New home for Oldham Coliseum gets council approval

The relocation of Oldham’s Coliseum Theatre into a new-build venue in the town centre has been approved, paving the way for a 550-seat auditorium and a 170-seat studio theatre to open by 2020.

The Coliseum is to move from its current home on Fairbottom Street to Southgate Street car park site, with a frontage on Union Street.

Over the last year, Oldham Council and Oldham Coliseum Theatre have been working on a redesign of proposals with Mecanoo, the project architect, with the studio theatre added in response to feedback on the initial designs.

The Coliseum Theatre will form part of a Cultural Quarter which will include a Heritage & Arts Centre alongside the Gallery Oldham, Library and Lifelong Learning Centre.

All are sited at a prominent town centre gateway and just yards from the Oldham Central Metrolink stop.

Cllr Jean Stretton, Oldham Council leader, said: “The Coliseum will be a central part of our ambitious new Cultural Quarter and will put Oldham firmly on the map as a cultural destination, attracting new visitors to the town.

“The Coliseum is deeply rooted in Oldham’s history and I’m delighted that we can get on with this project and create something special for future generations of theatre-goers.”

The project was given the go-ahead after a successful joint bid by Oldham Council and Oldham Coliseum Theatre secured a £7.1m National Lottery-funded capital grant from Arts Council England towards the project.

Construction is anticipated to start on site in early 2018 with the venue set to open in 2020.

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Spent many a happy time watching pantomimes at Oldham Rep,as a child. Let us hope that Oldham continues with it’s amazing reputation for acting prowess and that this theatre continues to be a major springboard for this.It would be nice if Oldham’s many talented performers could make the effort for it’s opening night.

By Elephant

Well done Oldham Council. This will be fantastic for the town when completed. One question though, where will all the people who are visiting the beautiful coliseum live? Oldham has to be the worst Local Authority in the Country for NOT BUILDING NEW AFFORDABLE HOMES. Where’s Jim McMahon MP and Council leaders support for new homes? Nowhere!

By Michael Taylor

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