The latest images of the proposed new Oldham Coliseum Theatre have been released ahead of the submission of a planning application.
After feedback on the initial proposals, Oldham Council and Oldham Coliseum Theatre along with architect Mecanoo, redesigned the development and a 170-seat studio theatre was added in addition to the 500-seat auditorium.
Oldham Coliseum Theatre is being developed alongside a new heritage and arts centre linked with Gallery Oldham, Library and Lifelong Learning Centre, all of which are just yards from the Oldham Central Metrolink stop.
Cllr Jean Stretton, Oldham Council leader, said: “The cultural quarter project is the next vital step in regenerating Oldham town centre and making it a destination that residents can be proud of with better facilities and preserved heritage. Building a new home for the Coliseum Theatre is absolutely central to these plans. It will secure their future prospects and new audiences, and also help us to attract a new type of visitor to the town through a great arts, culture and leisure offer.”
Plans for the current theatre are unclear. The site is leased from Oldham Council which is actively considering the regeneration proposals for the area.
The new facility will be built on the Southgate Street car park site next to the grade-II listed former library building, which will house the heritage and arts centre. There are no current plans for the car park to be replaced which will result in a loss of 114 spaces from the town centre.
Ian Tabbron, senior relationship manager at Arts Council England, said: “The Coliseum will form part of a cluster of new buildings that will provide an exceptional cultural offer for all the people of Oldham. The Arts Council is pleased to be able support Oldham Council in investing in such an outstanding set of economic, educational and artistic assets for the town.”
The project was given the green light after a successful joint funding bid by Oldham Council and Oldham Coliseum Theatre secured a £7.1m National Lottery-funded capital grant from Arts Council England towards the project. The total cost of the theatre is expected to be around £25m with Oldham Council currently underwriting £16m for the project but it is anticipated this figure will decrease as other funding opportunities are explored.
Oldham Council is the developer on the project and Gilbert Ash, which also worked on the Everyman theatre in Liverpool, has been selected as the contractor.
Subject to planning approval, construction work is anticipated to start in April 2018 with the venue set to open in 2020.