Prudential Assurance Building CGI Oldham Council p planning

CGI showing Oldham Council's vision for the Prudential Assurance Building. Credit: via planning documents.

Plans submitted for £8.6m Prudential Building overhaul

Oldham Council wants to transform the grade-two listed building into a business incubation hub.

The Prudential Assurance Building is located at 79 Union Street in Oldham’s town centre. The building dates back to 1889 and was designed by architect Alfred Waterhouse, who was also responsible for the Manchester Town Hall.

The plans, drawn up by Buttress Architects, propose a contemporary architectural approach to revive and complement the listed building’s characterful historic assets, bringing it back into sustainable use. The Prudential’s grand façade would be restored, and roof dormers and a lantern would be introduced on the top floor to create a more usable space.

Turner and Townsend is the principal designer of this project and Civic Engineers is the structural and civil engineer.

Internally, 1,300 sq ft of co-working space, 1,800 sq ft of meeting space, and 9,400 sq ft of office space would be created across five floors. The local authority hopes to create a modern office which will be an alluring destination for start ups and young businesses to encourage businesses to thrive, grow, and collaborate.

A 430 sq ft cafe space would also be added, with kitchen and tea points on each floor.

Prudential Assurance Building CGI Oldham Council p planning

Buttress Architects’ internal design for the Prudential Assurance Building. Credit: via planning documents.

The net construction value of the project is estimated at £8.6m and will be funded by a mixture of the authority’s capital funds and its £11m Future High Streets Award.

Gavin Sorby, managing director at Buttress, commented: “The refurbishment and redevelopment of the building presents a unique opportunity to create a thriving hub in the heart of Oldham.

“This goes beyond the material refurbishment of the building, looking to re-frame the 19th century office into a vibrant co-working and modern workplace that will attract young and upcoming tech businesses.”

Cllr Amanda Chadderton, leader of Oldham Council, added: “The hub will be focused primarily on the creative, digital, and media sectors. It will provide a high quality, flexible, low-cost space for small businesses in a beautiful building.”

In December the council were looking for a contractor for the scheme. At that time, the local authority believed that work could begin by the end of August.

The application’s reference number with Oldham Council is FUL/350248/22.

Your Comments

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At last this fine old building will be given a new lease of life and hopefully create employment also it is a positive among the many negatives

By Roy Cook

This building has stood vacant for such a long time – which has been a crying shame as it has always, in my opinion, been a beautiful building (if a little shabby) in need of a vision and investment. It’s great news that it’s finally getting a new lease of life and being brought back into useful service. Preserving these architectural gems is so important.

By Vicky Williams

Looks like a real gem. After Buttress weaving magic here, it will be something that Oldham will be proud of.


Future High Street Awards
Of course…..

By Anon

If it happens it will be about the only positive thing amongst the many negative aspects of Oldham centre. It IS a fine building but there are several other severely decaying town centre buildings left from the days of the prosperous cotton industry. How much (or little) money is still available from the £11 million “Future High Streets Awards” ??? It will undoubtedly run way over budget, Capital borrowed has to be paid for and Oldham is already on a financial tightrope with massive projected budget deficits (and District Auditor concern) and could tip anytime. Future maintenance of the building will be onerous, and all this will have to be paid for by the greater population when the building will only benefit a small section of the community. The economic benefits are questionable and will not add up so it has to be regarded as another council vanity project that the people of Oldham can ill afford.

By K. W.

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