RIBA March 2017 Oldham Town Hall Paul Karalius Press Image 1
Photograph by Paul Karalius

Oldham Town Hall scoops Building of the Year award

The £37m refurbishment of the grade two-listed building into a seven-screen cinema and restaurant complex beat competition from Manchester Science Park’s Bright Building; The Stockport Exchange; Two St Peter’s Square; The Bund in Salford Quays; Spire Manchester Hospital, and Maggie’s in Oldham at the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Building of the Year awards.

The announcement was made by chairman Phil Cusack during last night’s ceremony at The Hilton, Deansgate, with more than 350 businesses in attendance.

The winner was chosen by the Chamber’s property and construction group, and Cusack said: “The judges felt that the Oldham Town Hall redevelopment was a superb example of urban regeneration, bringing a hugely important historic landmark building back into use with a commercial enterprise which is already bringing economic life back to Oldham town centre.

“That it still retains its original architectural details inside and out is nothing short of remarkable.”

The Town Hall, which had lain derelict since 1995, had its extension designed by architect BDP, and construction firm Morgan Sindall finished work in October last year.  The three-year refurbishment saw 92 different styles of heritage tiles replaced or replicated, 2,282 replica replacement tiles made, and 1,250 heritage tile repairs carried out by craftsmen.  The development used 550 tonnes of steel and saw the pouring of 1,725m³ tonnes of concrete, the installation of 220 concrete piles and 864 repairs made to the external stone.

The redevelopment was the result of several years of planning by the council, as well as a failed Lottery bid. It was eventually funded through a combination of £26m from Oldham Council, a £1m Manchester Airport dividend, £2.5m from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and just under £7m of debt to be repaid through income.

Its projected economic impact will see the creation of 115 additional jobs through the Odeon cinema and restaurants, including Nando’s, Loungers and Gourmet Burger Kitchen, as well as an estimated 214,000 extra visits to the town centre annually.

Guests also saw the winner of Construction Apprentice of the Year Award, sponsored by Laing O’Rourke, named as Ben Deegan from Turner & Townsend who is studying his level four apprenticeship in project management.


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If it was the best then the rest must have been pretty awful. It is hideous and out of place with the surroundings.

By Tony

Well done Oldham. A much loved building brought back into use for the whole community and breathing life into the town centre.

By Janet Crabtree

Derelict since 1995? Don’t you mean 1965 or 75??

By Alison Burton