Oldham Coliseum Union Street

Heritage centre wins fresh consent in Oldham

A new planning permission and listed building consent has been approved for the Oldham Heritage & Arts Centre, part of the town’s cultural quarter overhaul.

The project, which comprises the redevelopment of a grade 2-listed former library, had previously been rolled in with the development of the new Oldham Coliseum Theatre on the adjacent site, with consent granted in 2015.

The two elements have now been separated, both for planning purposes and physically – at one stage the buildings were to be linked, but this plan has now been shelved.

The theatre is still on track, having had a 170-seat studio theatre added following feedback on the initial proposals. The planning documents submitted this week state that “the design for the proposed new Coliseum Theatre is now sufficiently progressed for the relevant planning approvals to be sought”.

The intention is that the new buildings and enhanced public realm joining them to the Gallery Oldham and Life Long Learning Centre buildings to the south of the site will give Oldham a coherent cultural district, close to the Oldham Central Metrolink stop.

A £7.1m National Lottery-funded Arts Council England grant has been secured for the wider £25m project, with Oldham Council underwriting the remainder.

Paul Butler Associates is advising on planning.

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