Pickles clears BDP town hall cinema

Oldham Council's plans to transform the Old Town Hall into a cinema and family entertainment venue designed by BDP have been given listed building consent by Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities.

The plans for the Grade II-listed building were approved by Oldham Council planning committee in September and went to DCLG for the additional heritage conversion consent.

BDP Oldham cinemaThe plans were drawn up by BDP to capitalise on the venue's town centre location and to conserve as much of the existing building as possible.

Talks will now begin with developers and other potential partners. The approved scheme is includes cinema, cafes, restaurants and shops.

Cllr Jim McMahon, Oldham Council leader, said: "This is excellent news and a crucial milestone in our plans for Oldham town centre.

"The decision shows we did our preparatory work well. It was absolutely vital that we consulted the public about our plans and also that we acted to preserve the building's status by working closely with English Heritage.

"Oldham needs a cinema and family entertainment venue and we believe the Old Town Hall site offers a fantastic opportunity to deliver that in a unique and historic setting.

"These plans are absolutely integral to our vision for the wider town centre and – following our recent 'Invest in Oldham' event in London – we're now in discussions with potential developers and commercial partners to bring this vision to life."

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