Odeon signs in Oldham

Oldham Council and cinema provider Odeon have agreed a deal to open a seven-screen cinema in the Old Town Hall.

The local authority has been in discussion with the cinema operator for several months about plans to transform the grade 2-listed Old Town Hall into a family entertainment venue.

This development will extend the building to include an 805-seat family cinema with seven screens, in addition to six restaurants and a café.

The plans are designed to capitalise on the Old Town Hall's town centre location, conserving as much of the existing building as possible whilst also adding a modern extension. There will also be a new public square adjacent to the venue in Clegg Street which will feature restaurants and host arts and cultural events.

BDP is the architect on the scheme. Morgan Sindall was appointed in October 2013 to provide pre-construction and enabling works to the shell and core of the building. The project included essential work to secure the façade of the historic building and safeguarding other heritage elements, including the Egyptian Room and courtrooms.

Cllr Jim McMahon, leader of Oldham Council, said: "This is box office news for us in every respect – and a real coup for Oldham.

"Odeon is the largest cinema operator in the UK and synonymous with great film experiences, so we were absolutely determined to get them on-board this project. Their commitment to us is a huge vote of confidence in our exciting plans.

"Oldham has lacked a cinema and family entertainment venue for far too long and this is brilliant news for residents, businesses and visitors alike.

"A thriving town centre isn't just about retail any more – it's about other complimentary uses that make it a place that people want to spend time in. That means combining a wide range of high street retailers with varied markets, thriving independent businesses and a leisure offer with a range of cultural venues, attractions and events, new open public spaces and a more attractive environment."

Roger Harris, chief operating officer at Odeon, said: "This is a further example of the close strategic partnership we have been developing with a number of local authorities who are seeking similar exciting redevelopment opportunities."

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